Today we bring you a very special guest which we believe we don’t need to introduce. For anyone who’s new to LoL esports – Eefje „Sjokz“ Depoortere is a former professional Unreal Tournament player (where her nickname is from – shock rifle with belgian pronunciation) who is currently the host of European LCS and you can see her every week on Riot’s twitch channel. She studied history and journalism but her path led her to being an iconic character not only of the european LoL scene but the esport scene worldwide.
Hello Sjokz, thanks for doing this interview. Your schedule must be quite busy these days while preparing for another week of EU LCS. Can you describe in more detail what do you do to be prepared as much as possible?
Well we don’t just show up on Thursday and Friday and do the show of course! J Monday through Wednesday are 'normal' office days for us where we all sit together in discuss our stoylines for the week, delve into statistics, do our research, review our own work etc etc.
Do the members of the casting team usually work alone or do you do most stuff together?
I would say it is 50/50! A portion of our meetings involve all of us because we need to be aligned or have discussions about what storyline we want to highlight, what player we want to talk about etc etc, but then people also have individual projects and their own time to research what they are interested in.
While being on the analyst desk, you speak to lot of players, whose english is sometimes hard to understand. Is that a big challenge to do a quality interview with those players? What do you do in these situations?
Well I am not a native speaker myself and I work with a lot of people with different accents so I don’t have that much trouble understanding them. However, that is not the case for everyone and we try to give the players tips whenever they did an interview, for instance talk a bit slower, don’t be afraid to take a minute to collect your thoughts before you answer and things like that!
Would you ever like to try casting a game?
I don’t know if I have the skillset to do it! I have a huge amount of respect for our casters because I think it is incredibly hard to talk for entire game when as you know there are sometimes big moments where nothing happens! You have to be concentrated and on the ball the whole time and it really is a special craft.
You host not only EU LCS but also other major LoL esports events. Which one are you looking forward the most and which one was your favourite so far?
Well I have a lot of favourites as we got to visit so many awesome places over the years. Obviously going to Brussels for the semifinals of Worlds 2015 and presenting in my homecountry was a once in a lifetime experience. I always love going to France and All-Stars Paris 2014 is one of my all-time favourite events. Katowice is always a lot of fun as well and I loved our shows in Seoul!
Do you always have to be neutral or can you pick a team to root for? Do you have a favourite team?
Of course we all have to be objective when it comes to being on air and talking about/analyzing the teams. I think mostly in international events I want the European teams to do well because we follow them and work so closely with them the entire year, but that doesn’t mean we will ever be biased in our reporting, unless it’s at fun events like All-Star and we want to make some jokes! Of course I also have a lot of respect for teams that are so incredibly good like SKT and I really look up to them.
Do you have time to play the game yourself? What is your favourite role and character?
Over the years watching the different competitions around the world has replaced playing League of Legends for a big part for me! I still play but I also like to play other games when I’m finally not watching a game of League! However when I play I main mid, support and ADC. I love Leona, Annie and Ahri!
You are from Belgium but you lived in Cologne and now you live in Berlin. Do you like Germany? Do you speak the language?
We live in Berlin now, that’s the home of the EU LCS studio. I do travel back to Cologne several times a year because I have a lot of friends there and it was the first place I moved after moving away from home. I do speak German okay, I think it’s important to learn the language if you’re in a country for a longer time.
We are not Danish master race so we only have one star in LCS – Freeze. What do you think of him? Do you perhaps have any funny/interesting story including him?
Freeze is a great AD Carry and a great person! He is always very polite and cheerful. I remember when we were in Tenerife, Spain with LCS he got very burned by the sun after we were all by the pool and he looked terrible! I felt so bad for him. But lesson learned haha!
Have you ever been to Czech Republic or Slovakia?
No never! I would love to check it out sometime if my schedule allows for it. All my friends absolutely adore Prague.
Have you ever had Czech beer? I know Krepo is a big fan of good beer, are you?
I think Staropramen is Czech? It’s actually very common here in Berlin and I have had it a couple of times. As a Belgian of course I am also a fan of good beers, but I’m more a fan of the lighter blonde beers, Krepo can handle the heavy stuff!
Thanks again for taking your time to do this, we are incredibly grateful and wish you a lot of succes in the future.