The most famous casters usually are known in esports in pairs. Think of Artosis and Tasteless in StarCraft and HenryG and Sadokist in CS:GO, for example. And although in League of Legends trios are more common, the LEC has one particular duo that rolls of the tongue particularly well: the MediVedi duo, comprised of play-by-play caster Medic and color caster Vedius, known for their humorous sketches.
We spoke with the latter half of that duo, Andrew "Vedius" Day, while at the Summer Split Finals in Athens. The Welshman opened up about the goofy, sometimes borderline cringy segments the LEC broadcast features, and why they're so important to have. Additionally, he shared what he thinks other members of the broadcast team could learn from watching him perform.
How have you enjoyed the LEC Summer Split finals here in Athens?
It's pretty solid. I really like the community activities that we have going on at this event—it feels like a real convention, which is pretty cool. I hope that we can continue to build and develop it so that people's finals experience is a lot more unique than it has been in the past.
Do you think it's important to feel more like a convention?
Yes. I think it makes the whole thing more of an event rather than just a game you're coming to watch. When people come to a concert they come to listen to the music and then they leave, whereas I think that these activities give you an opportunity to get to know the teams, get to know the players, and be involved.
"If you're tuning into the LEC you will get something different.
Some people like it, some people don't."
I want to talk to you about the broadcast of the LEC. Overall it's a pretty serious stream, but there are segments where everything formal is thrown out of the window and it turns into a goofy bit. To you, what's the influence of these segments on the broadcast?
I think it just gives it a very different tone, you know? We wanted to stand out among many esports broadcasts, and to try and interact with what ultimately our core audience is—young adults. I think that doing some wacky stuff out of the blue is a great way for people to connect and enjoy. If you're tuning into the LEC you will get something different. Some people like it, some people don't. Some of the stuff we do definitely is a little 'extreme'.
What would be an example of a segment more on the extreme side?
Something like the Vedius multiverse bit, all of my family members is a little ridiculous. Then there's all sorts of random content we do, like the LEC safari. That type of humor is not naturally going to pander to everyone, and I think we expect that. But I do also think that it brings something new and unique, while in theory not taking anything away from the games.
The goal is never to do it during a game or just before the game. The games are still the focus, and we still put time and effort into them, but to everything around them we like to add a bit of personality and humor. Rather than it being analysis all the time and hearing opinions, we're saying: "What can these creative people come up with that's relevant to esports, but also entertaining?" I think it also helps fans form deeper connections with the personalities and get to know them a little better.
"The one thing I thing that I've learned the most is that I know when to pick my moment.
I know when to choose to talk, and what to talk about."
Which are some sketches that are your brainchild?
Ehm the rap battles were my idea initially. And I don't know if you watch 'Picks to Watch', but that's a content piece that I do with random, weird intros. Those intros weren't my idea actually but my producer's, because she said it needed a hook, something to get people to watch. And now it's just a part of the show. It generally is a very big team effortm but I've come up with some ideas. We all just throw ideas on a wall and then refine them, turning it into some cool stuff.
You've done this for quite a while now, and as you said you work with many talented people. So I'm wondering: which person on the broadcast team do you still learn a lot from?
We don't often invite Deficio back, but every time he's there I still learn a lot from him. He has a very different perspective of the game, a unique approach to it. I learned the game through studying it, whereas he learned the game through experience. Because he was a pro player who then converted into casting, and he has a great relationship with the pros, his perspective on the game has always been slightly different from mine. Having his perspective alongside mine is really refreshing and I always learn a lot.
That's not to say that I can't learn things from my colleagues like Ender and Frosk, but it's just that we're all very similar. We've taught ourselves the game and we've reached out to people who have helped educate us. But Deficio truly experienced it. Having that difference of opinion is very useful.
Then finally: what is something you think you think that others on broadcast learn from you?
Oh boy. Ehm, I'm fortunate that I now have about three, three and a half years of experience working on this broadcast. The one thing I thing that I've learned the most is that I know when to pick my moment. I know when to choose to talk, and what to talk about. It's something that I think I've refined over the many years.
Let's take an example of Jankos stealing a Baron. In that moment you can make the choice to celebrate Jankos, and many color casters will do that by focussing on the play itself, how it worked out. But being able to differentiate when it makes sense to break down the play and analyze it, versus just celebrating it and building up the player, is something that I've learned over the years. That's something I think I can teach other people.