This interview with Trevor “Quickshot” Henry was conducted by our reporter Alexandre “DrPuppet” Weber during the EU LCS finals in Madrid.
First of congratulations, I’ve seen it is your wedding anniversary.
Yes, one year anniversary.
How are you feeling? Because in the past few years a lot has been going on for you. First Deman and Joe Miller left and you took on the leadership of the casting team, suddenly you also married and now you are here in Madrid casting and having a good time, so how are you feeling today?
I’m extremely emotional, one year ago it was regional qualifiers and I actually had to uninvite members of the broadcast and caster team, because the schedule was changed after I booked my wedding date. So I had to uninvite people, it was difficult, the team still makes fun off me to this date, but they covered and I was streaming the regional qualifiers while I was at my wedding reception last year. One year later I’m here in Madrid, unfortunately, my wife Becca couldn’t attend the event this weekend so I’m here alone.
On top of that, I have been promoted to on-air talent manager and this is the first finals that I’m not shoutcasting in three years. Drakos has kicked ass so far. The reason I say all of this is because I cried a lot. I got to the hotel from the venue yesterday and Beccah phoned the hotel and got them to put a card and a piece of cake in my room to say happy anniversary, I burst out in tears. I got to the venue today and I got really nervous because Drakos was doing the finals and it wasn’t me.
Honestly, I was a little bit jealous and he kicked ass, the opening ceremony was Amazing it was with ibai and not me, the team has grown and done so well, I’m happy. And a lot of people have congratulating me and sending well wishes, because you know I have a very public social life, my wife and me are very comfortable with that, so it’s emotional, I’m happy and I’m loving it. It has been a fantastic weekend so far.
Every time I go to the EU LCS studios, go to any major event I always see you smiling. I never see you stressed or sad. Every time it is about League of Legends or about people having a good time, you are in the front with a smile on your face. I think you are glowing even more today, obviously there are a lot of reasons for that today, but it feels like you’ve been kind of a “father” to all these new kids on the block joining the casting team and the EU LCS production in general has grown. It has been an incredible production this year, with your new segments and honestly it has been one of the best and fresh productions we’ve seen in a while, even the memes we got out of it are amazing.
With all those changes happening, are you happy with how everything played out, what was the reason behind all of that and what is coming towards us next year?
Yeah, of course, you know I’m really happy. I had a lot of professional and personal growth over the years which I’m really proud of, but it is the team that leveled up all around, if you look at deficio, myself and Sjokz as the on-air team we’ve been with the EU LCS for the better part of four to five years, in fact for Sjokz and me it’s six years. Our executive producer used to be a graphics operator back in the ESL days, the whole team has grown and because we have been working together for so long and we got more resources and investment from Riot, we’ve upgraded our facilities we got a new control room and a new analyst desk at the beginning of spring.
With all those things add up together to make the product and the show better. For me personally, this weekend is a big combination of all of that growth. I know one of the big things a lot of people are talking about is that a lot is going to change and with the long-term partnerships we are excited about what partners are going to get in, but I don’t know anything about that yet, it is not my department. And I’ll find out when everybody else finds out and I’m just enjoying what might be the best EU LCS Era that we’ve ever had. In this specific event, I just have a gigantic smile on my face. I’m stressed and I do get worked up, I just try not to let it show in public, I deal with my things and luckily there is a huge crate of support I work around. Everybody here is just working towards the same goal and it makes the work so much easier, despite the huge amount of pressure, the hours and everything.
Are the jitters you get the 5 minutes before you go on stage, the reason you still want to shoutcast day and night?
It is absolutely the case. I firmly believe if you don’t get those nerves, those butterflies you should consider looking elsewhere. One of the things I’m particularly known for is how much I love this game, how much I love Esports in general. I don’t think that passion is ever going away, even when it does then I’ll look to do something more “managerial”, more “businessy” maybe. For now I love every second and I’m just thankful that people get to enjoy that with me.
The crowd is crazy, cheering for everyone, Amazing is putting up a show and we got a very nice series to watch today. Still, I want to talk about a more serious topic. Obviously, Riot didn’t have the best couple of weeks. One of the things the reddit community was very keen to talk about was why are the shout casters not going to the play-in stage? Why is the production team and the analyst desk not going on tour for worlds?
So far, only the selected on-air talent would go to the event, but this is the first time we are doing the show on a “budget”, saving costs and opting for a more traditional sports way to broadcast such an event, which is new to Esports. Of course, everybody that loves football or is familiar to any traditional sports knows that the analyst desk never goes on tour only the shout caster do. Why do you think the change is happening, why right now, is it a good thing? Or are people just sad that they might not meet their favorite caster at the event?
There is more to unpack, one of the big things I really would like to dispel that the decision was made because of budget and that it is about money. One of the big reasons we are doing this, stay localized and this time in LAX is because we have a phenomenal control room, insane amount of tech, tools, hardware, software and team in a centralized location we’ve invested millions of dollars into to built that by now. Now, in EU the control room was also just invested several million euros in hardware, tech and tools. When it comes to producing a show on the road, it is not just the matter of flights and hotels reddit was making a lot of jokes about. You have to rent million of dollars of hardware for weeks and weeks on end to produce shows, to produce it to the same level.
Think about the graphic packages, about the script software about the video software, recording VODs, uploading VODs, think about the audio mixing tools, think about the controls to manage lighting, to integrate streams, we have upwards to 20 languages broadcasting worlds. Do you know the kind of software you need to root all of that? The reason I really try to hop on the production side is that a lot of people don’t really think about what goes on behind the camera, they see the same shoutcasters everyday, every week for 30 weeks a year and go that’s what LCS is. No there are 80 to 120 people per LCS show and that goes up when you have a road show, that means you have hundreds of staff that are super specialized that cannot all uplift their lives and travel for 5 weeks of a year go to Korea to China and Brazil etc.
All of these complicated factors are involved in the decision making process and for this world championship we will be doing the entirety of the play in, group stages, quarter finals and semifinals out of the LAX studios. It isn’t the first time we’ve done that we did that for play-ins before and the show is fantastic. Personally, as a Shoutcaster I’m actually happy about it, yesterday casting here in Madrid, the venue is great, the energy is amazing, its hot, its uncomfortable, the back of knees were sweating. I had to scream to not only come over to the fans but also the Spanish commentators were yelling behind me, it’s not my voice you know? There is a lot of complications to it. I love the energy, I love those arenas, I love doing interviews and standing on that stage and hearing the guys chant.
But if I were to chose to do 22 show days out of 28 on the road, I personally would do it on the studio, its more comfortable. I understand there are some trade-offs and I completely understand the atmosphere. But that’s where’s up to our production crew to balance the camera cuts, the in audio feed and the in-game action and make sure that it all ligns up, so that you guys, the viewers actually get a good product. And I want to prove to you, that it works, because it is something I like and this year is the first year that we are fully committed to trying it.
Is the EU production going to LAX or are you only working with the people that are there already?
I still don’t know a 100% about the entire team, but I can speak in behalf of the shoutcasting team. All shoutcasters that will be working on the World championships will be flying to LAX. I know that there will be several production team members that will fly out as well and if you look at the condensed world championship schedule there are a lot of games, a lot of days and a lot of hours, so there is some helping hands that will be going to help out. Also, I know that some of our the producers are going to Korea, for example, Ovilee and Sjokz will be doing interviews in Korea, their Producer is in fact an EU LCS producer so he will be with them managing that section. It is not an all NA thing, but that’s the home base, that’s where the control room is, the office and the facilities we are going to be based around.
So nobody should be scared that there will be no interview, there will be interviews and most important there will be people in the venue prior to the finals to take photos and for fan meets etc.
100% the case and of course all the teams will be doing all the regular fan meets, the venues, the stadiums they will be filled but instead of us having a multi-million dollar production truck outside it will be in LAX with significantly longer cables but the event itself, you know I’m hopeful. I’m happy that the fans are so passionate but I’d rather have them to give us a chance to see what it is like before they decide it is the worst thing before seeing a game yet cast.
As we have to close out the interview now, do you have anything you want to let the people know, about today, how you feeling especially or about anything at all. Do you have any closing words?
I want to thank everyone so much that has watched the EU LCS, that has commented on reddit, that has tweeted and that has shared instagram stories. I know this is the best year EU LCS has ever had and without you guys watching and supporting we couldn’t have done it.
(All Photos Credit by DrPuppet)