Foxdrop on casting in the LEC: “I was just having fun and that was good enough to get me to the big stage”

The popular YouTuber is now a regular guest on the LEC broadcast.

Photo via Riot Games

When Dan “Foxdrop” Wyatt is in the broadcast booth, in front of a jam-packed live crowd and hundreds of thousands of online viewers, he’s totally at home. The viewer count doesn’t bother him—he’s used to seeing big numbers on his YouTube channel. In his words, when he’s on stage, he’s just “chatting shit.”

But that’s been good enough to turn the League YouTube star into one of Europe’s beloved color casters. Foxdrop brings unique energy and pizzazz to the stage, adding to a diverse ensemble of casting talent that has given European League broadcasts a definite buzz.

But starring at the LEC was never Foxdrop’s intention. Becoming a caster was a bit of an accident. As he prepares for his second season casting at the top competitive level in Europe, Dot Esports spoke with him about how exactly he got here. The key? Being himself and not taking anything too seriously.

Diversity

Photo via Riot Games

Foxdrop has been playing League almost since the game’s launch. After a while, he got pretty good, climbing up to Master tier. Along the way, he started making content on YouTube and found a receptive audience. People loved his “typical English style,” as he put ita self-deprecating manner and a dry sense of humor. And they appreciated how he explained what he was thinking about as he played the game. In fact, those are many of the qualities that make him so effective as a caster.

Foxdrop still has a lot of nostalgia for those early days. His enjoyment level increases with the level of play, and the time when he was in high ELO were the best for him. That doesn’t mean he thinks League is in a bad spot right now, however. As a jungle main, he appreciates the champion diversity in that position—he’s been showing off some off-meta Brand jungle lately.

“As far as metas, I saw a screenshot of a game from season three,” Foxdrop said. “It was like a 40 minute game and the support literally had boots and Sightstone. How is that interesting?”

Foxdrop also thinks that diversity has aided League in another way, namely through its fans.

“I like the culture around League,” he said. “I know people complain about the toxic community, but I think when you really delve in, League has one of the strongest, most diverse communities. There’s loads of fan art and cosplayers, people [who] really enjoy League and not just about the competitiveness of the game. It feels like you’re part of a bigger community.”

The best we have

Photo via Riot Games

As a popular YouTuber with over 500,000 subscribers, Foxdrop was already a key contributor to the broader League community. But in 2017, he made a leap to have an even greater impact when he started working with ESL at some local tournaments. The way he tells it, his involvement as a caster with ESL started as a bit of a happy accident.

“So I messaged the guys at ESL who were doing the UK league, ‘I fancy doing some casting, just as a novelty thing,'” Foxdrop said. “As far as personalities go, I’m one of the biggest one in the UK. They had a vacancy where one of the color casters couldn’t make it so I came instead.”

From there things just sort of took off all the way until Foxdrop found himself casting the EU Masters tournament in 2018. That’s when it got real—he was paired with big-time casters from the LCS level, including Trevor “Quickshot” Henry. Quickshot told him that he could make it on the LCS level, but Foxdrop was still grappling with how he got there.

“To me, I’m still like a gimmicky guest, I’m not really a caster, I just show up and cast,” he said. “I had a conversation with [ESL] like, ‘I don’t want to take someone’s spot, I’m just here to have fun.’ And they were like, ‘No, you’re the best color caster that we have.'”

The big leagues

Photo via Riot Games

Just like that, Foxdrop ended up on the LCS cast last summer. To some, that would be nerve wracking, going from basically amateur status to the big leagues in a few short months. But Foxdrop wasn’t concerned. He got to the LCS level by staying laid back and not taking himself too seriously, just like how he appears in YouTube content.

Of course, he did face some pressure, mostly self-generated. While working with legends like Martin “Deficio” Lynge, Foxdrop started wondering if he needed to change, to become more like them.

“I did change a little bit as it when on because I felt a bit inadequate,” he said. “I was suddenly surrounded by really good casters. That was tricky because I felt my flaws a lot more. Overthinking, impostor syndrome, don’t feel like you deserve to be there.”

This year, he’s putting that behind him. Instead of looking at what others are doing, he’s valuing his strengths more and refocusing on what qualities got him to the big leagues. It helps that everyone on the cast is really good at this point. He has great synergy, especially with the play-by-play casters, though he admits that his analyst desk segments “could use some love.”

In other words, he’s not going to become the next Deficio, and that’s okay. He’s just a guy, standing in front of a mic, having a good time casting some League of Legends.