Slingshot’s Alexandre “DrPuppet” Weber had the opportunity to talk with Riot Games caster Trevor “Quickshot” Henry during the European League of Legends Championship Series finals about calling the finals, being in hamburg and Star Wars.
Alexandre “DrPuppet” Weber: How are you doing today?
Trevor “Quickshot” Henry: Very good. Very happy to be back in Hamburg. This is the second time being here in Hamburg. The crowd is great and I’m very excited to cast the finals tomorrow.
AW: What did you do in Hamburg six years ago. Were you casting an event?
TH: No, it was actually a bit before may casting career took off. I was working for the company that does today the German broadcast Freaks 4U, and they brought me out here to meet Razer and other meetings and to get to see Hamburg. Hamburg is a gorgeous city.
AW: Indeed is a beautiful city. So you mentioned you are going to cast the finals tomorrow. What do you think of the crowd and venue so far?
TH: Really cool, I love the round stages. It feels like a boxing ring and we like to bring them out for the big shows and finals. But what I really like about the Barclay Card Arena is that the stage is very close to the audience, and you really get that boxing/wrestling vibe. So you can hear and feel every single scream and shout.
AW: How much can you actually interact with the crowd during a cast on such an event?
TH: It’s interesting because we have a sort of a debate if we can or can’t interact. For example, the French broadcast, their casters Chips and Noir are very famous for interacting with the crowd and getting people to chant, yell and scream, and they do it quite directly. The viewers in the audience understand and expect that, but the majority of the English speaking audience are less used to that style. What I will say is that especially the German crowd likes to interact, like they will state some information, they will laugh at you if you make a joke or just scream and shout. It’s just getting the feeling and finding the moment to say “give me a chant” or to say if Deficio looks good or not. You get that feeling once you are on the floor.
AW: So you casted now around the world where do you say you had the most fun with the crowd compared to the weekly crowd at the LCS Studio?
TH: Actually I think it is the most fun to cast in the EU LCS Studio weekly, and the reason for that is the smaller crowd and you are much closer to the audience. So it’s much easier to talk to the 100 to 200 people in Berlin, and they will interact with you. On the same token, a few years ago my parents came to watch my very first shoutcast in London and it was for worlds in Europe, and I got to do shoutouts to my mum and dad on air, and the entire audience started clapping and chanting my name. So that’s always going to be a special moment for me. Just because they celebrated with me the first time my parents got to watch me live.
AW: So basically you are like the musician playing at a pub to be near the audience. So since the start of the season you guys changed the style of the whole broadcast. Now you are more loose and joke around more often instead of just doing a professional broadcast. What do you prefer the more funny and loose style or do you think you are more the professional only type of shoutcasts?
TH: I like to do both, and I think if you look back into the split probably around 80 percent of the time I will stick to a more simple and play by the rulebook. So every now and then Deficio and I (divert), since we have a good working relationship, and he will let me spank him. So this is one of the very famous moments and the broadcast trusts us and all us casters trust ourselves, and we felt it in the moment that this will be one of those fun moments. Should it be there? Does it need to be there every time? No. However, it is very pleasant when you do three broadcasts every week to have a little bit of fun in it.
AW: So let’s talk about the important stuff now. You are casting tomorrow the finals and who do think is going to win and how will they do at MSI?
TH: It’s really though. The finals between G2 Esports and UOL will be a lot closer than maybe people would expect. Anyways I think G2 is slightly better as a team and with their support staff. They adapt in between games better than any other team in the EU LCS. So if Unicorns don’t have a wide pool of strategies prepared for tomorrow, I think G2 will win. It’s not impossible, but I would say it is 2-to-1 odds for G2, and regardless of who wins tomorrow, G2 or UOL both should do well at MSI. Both teams went to Intel Extreme Masters several weeks ago and both got much better and they said they learned a lot, and they have been outspoken that their interactions with the Flash Wolves have been one of the reasons for their improvement. So I’m hopeful that they will make top four in Brazil. I would be very disappointed if they don’t.
AW: You are one of the few casters that not only follow but is very outspoken on Twitter about the wild card regions, mostly CBLoL. How do you think will Red Canids from Brazil compared to the other wildcard regions or major regions?
TH: Dude, I don’t know how the Red Canids will do. I do think they are the strongest wild card team, however I had a debate with a few guys at the office because Vedius, for example, he is very excited for the Japanese Squad Rampage. He thinks that they are going to do extremely well. Also I saw today that Supermassive won and qualified from Turkey. They have players with a lot of experience that goes very deep, even international experience.
I don’t know how they are going to do. I would love it if Brazil would make it to the main event of MSI because it’s Rio. We are in Brazil, and having a local crowd have the local team show up would be amazing. So I have a little bit of favoritism to take the spot, but it has more to do with the local support to hear that crowd scream because they are pretty loud.
AW: As a Brazilian myself I can confirm that even if it is not a Brazilian team playing they will be loud, with a Brazilian team it’s just going to be even louder. So now I have a very important question for you, what do you think about the new Star Wars trailer?
TH: I’m going to disappoint you. I don’t watch the Star Wars trailers (laughs). Yes, I managed to avoid the trailers of the past two movies. I try to avoid all of those and go with a blank state to avoid any expectations before I see the movies because as soon as you build expectations, you can get disappointed.
AW: I totally understand that mindset, so let me ask you this question instead. What do you think about the new universe of Star Wars? Are you excited, and what are you looking for?
TH: I am very excited. The directors and the franchise made the right choice, because they would have never been able to create the whole expanded universe and all the existing books, so it was a good call. I’m happy with the new movies, I even have Star Wars tattoos and they made the universe proud. They felt like Star Wars movies. So I’m enjoying it.
AW: So I have to ask you what is your all time favorite Star Wars movie?
TH: I have to say “The Empire Strikes Back”.
AW: So thank you very much Quickshot for your time, do you have any shoutouts left?
TH: Just thank you very much. I have been enjoying the Slingshot Esports content and coverage so I’m looking forward to see the interview.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot