Interview with State of the League host, Travis
Mon 27th Feb 2012 - 10:07pm
In August of 2011, Travis, created the online webshow State of the League, a webshow which hosts professional players of League of Legends from all over the world. State of the League is streamed weekly, where Travis sits down with a handful of pro players and talks to them about current meta-game, patch notes, upcoming and past tournaments, along with great random discussions on the mechanics of League of Legends.
Travis was kind enough to sit down and talk to me about his thoughts on State of the League and the League of Legends scene.
When were you inspired to create State of the League, and how did it all start?
Travis: The inspiration for creating State of the League came after meeting Doublelift. I told him that I wanted to do something to contribute to the League eSports community, and that I felt it was missing a lot of the great content that the StarCraft 2 community had.
He suggested that I interview pro players, because there wasn't really anyone doing that at the time, and it was hard for players to show their personalities or brands outside of a stream. I took the idea and thought about my favorite StarCraft show - State of the Game, and decided to attempt to create a State of the League. Shortly after starting, I managed to get permission to do it from State of the Game's creator and everything's been great since then.
You said you made SotL after meeting Doublelift. How did you two originally meet?
Travis: Ha, that's a funny story. Last year Doublelift posted on the League of Legends subreddit and mentioned that he needed a place to stay for a bit (and that his situation was urgent). One of my roommates was moving out, and we hadn't found a replacement for him.
Doublelift was only about 20 minutes away, so I contacted him on Reddit and offered to let him crash at my place for a couple of nights. My buddy and I drove down, met him, and I let him know we'd have an extra room if he wanted to take it over a week later. He ended up doing that, and we've been living together ever since.
How did you manage to get a hold of all the pro players to get them on the show?
Travis: Well, in the beginning Doublelift just asked his teammate SYDTKO if he wanted to be on. Once it started though, I'd meet a player or a person who knew another pro player, so I'd get introduced to that person, and that person would know more people. It really just flowed naturally without me having to knock down doors to get people on.
Within two months most (NA) pro players had heard about the show or had a teammate that had been on it, so nowadays it's not too hard to get ahold of people, at least in the North American scene.
When you created State of the League, did you ever imagine it would become so big, or did you just think it would be more of a podcast-esque type of show?
Travis: I really wanted to make it big. I looked forward to it every week (and still do), but I didn't think it would be. I wasn't sure if there was enough interest in the community, and it's also -extremely- hard to get information out about new content. Thankfully, a lot of people in the community and a lot of pro players believed in the show. It likely wouldn't exist right now if it wasn't for all those amazing people.
I know State of the League is primarily based off of State of the Game. Are you an avid follower of the Star Craft II scene as well as the League of Legends scene?
Travis: Yes, since SC2 beta I had watched the StarCraft scene grow (while I still played League) and was completely fascinated by the tournaments, content, players, etc. After a year or so of watching the StarCraft scene, Dreamhack happened for League. That was the real moment of epiphany where I realized that League could have everything SC2 had (and potentially more). The tournament was fantastic, the numbers that tuned in were record breaking, and I just got incredibly pumped for League eSports.
As a shoutcaster, you see pros from all over the world play against each other in highly competitive matches. How do you keep up with the NA and EU sides of LoL?
Travis: I'd actually say that's been a weakness of mine in the past that I've gotten a lot better with lately. For a while, I was incredibly focused on the North American side of things, those were the teams I was really interested in. What really got me to start looking across the Atlantic (and the Pacific) were the international tournaments. When you start seeing NA teams clash with European and Asian teams, you start wondering who these other guys are.
You see them make amazing plays or do some impressive stuff, so you start tuning into European only tournaments. Now the only problem I have is keeping up with all the new European teams that have sprung up in the past couple of months. There are so many of them! I expect to see A LOT of tournaments and events popping up. A lot of people in the SC2 scene said "2011 is the year of eSports" back at the start of last year, I think we should all be saying "2012 is the year of League of Legends eSports!"
Who is your favourite League of Legends streamer?
Travis: Haha, a lot of people ask me who my favorite player, streamer, team is or who I want to win a particular tournament. I don't mean for this to be a cop out, but I actually don't have any particular favorite. I cheer for or watch a bunch of different folks for a ton of different reasons.
With the recent buffs and the nerfs, especially to supports, where do you see the League of Legends meta moving towards?
Travis: It's hard to say, most pros I've posed this question to claim that the meta will never change from what it is right now, and I have to agree. Riot would have to make a ton of controversial changes to core gameplay mechanics that the community would be up in arms about. I'm not saying that I don't think they will, but I don't see anything changing for the time being.
Who is your favourite champion to play in LoL?
Travis: That changes often, historically it's been Teemo, despite the stigma attached to him. I tend to have a favorite of the week or the month though. Right now it's Ziggs, who is just fantastic.
Are there any changes you would like to see in LoL?
Travis: Overall I'd like to see some changes that stop bottomlane from being the occasional snorefest it can become. I tend to end up there a lot in my matches, and sometimes you just go up against a matchup that leaves you standing by your tower for the majority of the laning phase.
What was your favourite moment on State of the League?
Travis: Haha, that's also a tough one. They tend to be the random, unscripted moments. As such, there are a ton in the holiday special (if I can remember correctly). SharkshotGG is a great one, and often times the balance discussion can bring out some amazing conversation via arguments.
State of the League, featuring Sharkshotgg
Who is somebody that you haven’t had on the show, and would like to get onto SotL?
Travis: I wouldn't mind having Morello or one of the live team guys on. I think that would be pretty fun.
That’s all from me. Is there anyone you’d like to shoutout to?
Travis: Sure, a shoutout to Domenic, my awesome cowriter. A shoutout to the After Hours Gaming League, at afterhoursgaming.tv, and a shoutout to the awesome folks in the community that have helped make SotL what it is today.
You can follow Travis on Twitter at @SotLTravis
Like State of the League's Facebook page at: State of the League