We met up with UK based League of Legends Youtuber Foxdrop to get a glimpse into his amazing growth story. Enjoy and leave your comments below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m from Essex, south end in Essex that’s where I’m from – I’m 20 years old. Went to a grammar school in the area, I had some issues with my life and had to drop out of school when I was 17. I lost my girlfriend, my friends, my sports, I lost everything and to be perfectly honest with you I was on the ropes and then I thought I’d just start youtubing or whatever, just to do something… I’m still no-where near normal and perfect but I feel I can influence people and have a positive impact on the world and the money comes in which is nice. I can chip out around the house with my dad and stuff.
Can you describe your streaming style?
I would say that I strive to be educational first and foremost, but I also like to include some humour now and then, there’s nothing better than some dry sarcastic British humour so I try to chuck that in there every now and then. Mostly educational with some entertainment and easy going stuff I think.
Do you have any nicknames?
Well there’s Foxtrot which everyone else calls me, then there’s variations of that like Foxy or Fox or I’ve actually had someone call me foxy bingo once, I don’t know if that’s going to stick…
Which one is your favourite?
I think Foxy is kind of cool!
What got you into gaming?
Oh man, I’ve been gaming since I was a sprog. I still remember the Sega Mega Drive that my dad got, I don’t remember specifically but I remember he said to me, sonic like sonic 1, sonic 2 one of those, I would just hold the controller, I didn’t even realise I could control the guy that was on the screen. My brain couldn’t comprehend that I could interact. I remember having Mortal Combat as well, that’s kind of a questionable game for a young kid, even though I didn’t grow up to be a murderer, I suppose I turned out alright…
I’ve always been a huge gamer, I mean I’ve always been quite lazy, you don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to get up or anything, you don’t have to get up and get on a bus, you’ve got everything at you’re your fingertips it’s perfect, which I like, I like that kind of gaming side of things. I always mix social and gaming, I don’t think it’s too healthy to have too much gaming because I think still as a human being you need social contact, I mean I talk to a lot of people online, probably more now than I used to before.
Do you find now that most of your friends are online gamers?
Yeah, definitely I lost everything man, the only friends I have from before, from my past life – that sounds weird, but from like 3 years ago are the people I’ve kept in touch with because they are gamers, I mean I have really strong relationships with those people I think gaming has done great for relationships, I’ve met people through it that I probably wouldn’t of.
Just to put stats out there, which make it more credible, in the US they are much more open to saying they are gamers because 50% of people play games – so don’t look down on the fact that all your friends are gamers
I think people who play league, are from my old friends.
What is the first game you remember?
From Mortal Combat to Sonic on the Mega Drive, but I’ll give you a different answer – I’d say when I really started getting into gaming I was playing Warcraft 3, Frozen Thrones – those games were awesome – I remember the frenzy games, like the custom games like before school when I was like 10 or something.
Wow, you were playing before school when you were 10?
Yeah, it’s weird because now you can’t drag me out of bed, like the other day I actually had 20 hours sleep – I genuinely don’t know how it happened, it’s never happened to me before I swear, it sounds like I’m talking to my ex – girlfriend here, but I swear, it’s never happened to me before! Honestly, I’ve never slept for 20 hours before; I was staying up quite late, I thought I’ll go to bed late to sort out my sleeping pattern and then I’ll wake up later. I was waking up at really bad times so if I was waking up late I was actually waking up really early. I took a 3 hour nap and went back to bed like 4 hours later and 20 hours came out of it! – I don’t know where it came from, it was ridiculous so my sleeping pattern is now buggered, just when I was trying to fix it…I was so mad you have no idea.
What got you into streaming?
Streaming on like Twitch? – It’s kind of a difficult one because I don’t even really know myself, I think I just kind of like had an idea, I’ve already had a business mind, like I did business at school, even though, I actually found it quite boring, but I was good at it and I liked the logical side of it. I started doing really short videos like just a few minutes of specific guides because there wasn’t really anything out there for that, then I got some feedback and I started to branch out and grow – it started to snowball from there.
Answering your question though, I’m not really sure, I think I got bored and thought I’d try some things out but I definitely didn’t ever consider to make it a career – I remember aiming for 1,000 views on my first video on Reddit and nowadays I get 20k views in 2 days, if I get 30k in 2 days I consider that good.
Do you remember your first video?
Yeah, OK, they were awful – I remember I did one, I did – you know League of Legends. I was playing a certain champion and you drag this person around – she turns into a dragon and she flies away and three times in one game she tried to fly away so I grabbed her. It was kind of cool, so I made a crappy little montage with the chariot fire music – that was probably my first video, but then that wasn’t, that didn’t actually start me doing videos, it was a kind of random video. I think what started me off was like a short guide, but I can’t remember exactly, I made a Mortal Combat joke though, that’s all I remember about it, something about Sub Zero and Scorpion, I can’t remember anything else though.
How long ago was that?
I’ve been doing YouTube for about, I believe it was like September 2012, so a few years now.
Dee: “You know what is awesome about that date? We also started, I think it was October, but like 28th of September was when we incorporated.”
It was a good month for the gaming industry then.
Dee: “Ha we like you already!”
What is the objective of the video? Do you even have one?
Wow, that is deep! There was me thinking we were going to do a bog standard interview and you ask me that, I don’t know if I’m ready. The purpose of my videos and stuff I think it’s now it’s probably two fold, because now it’s my career as well I pump out videos, it’s about growth, it’s about the business side of it as well now, I like to measure my growth to see what videos do well.
Like recently, I’ve been trying different interactions, to do fan votes, well viewer votes, I don’t like the word fan. Viewer votes for what champion should I feature next, go tweet me or something to see what social media interaction I can get, because I think if I have a strong social media presence then It can open up doorways and I wont have to rely so much on YouTube I guess.
There is that point of view but also I like to help people. I like being recognised in games, not from an egotistical point of view but, that to me is, its not a quantitative way of measuring my success but a qualitative way like you know if people know who I am, and recognise me then I’m doing something right, because obviously my names out there and I like to see that.
So yeah if people know who I am, I must be doing something right and that’s how I measure it. Then there’s the standard stuff, like I always answer questions people ask me like on YouTube comments, Facebook, Twitter etc. Unfortunately I can’t answer them all any more, which is a shame because I get messages all over. I used to be able to find myself answering them all but I can’t now, I just get too many. But as I say it’s more business side now, it’s my career.
How do you decide when to stream or do Videos?
YouTube always takes priority, not just from a money point of view, streaming can be quite difficult for me, like it used to be, that’s one of the things I used to have anxiety about, like I’d feel sick to my stomach. I don’t know why, because it’s not like, you know the three hundred people would come out of my monitor and strangle me, but I guess feeling that kind of emotion doesn’t always link to world logic. so yeah it was always difficult to stream, but with YouTube stuff, it’s easy because there is no pressure to do something at a certain time.
Like this interview with you, is one of the most nerve racking things I’ve done or should be nerve racking, like when I had to schedule stuff with people, whether that’s contracts with people. Like if they say to me do 4 videos a month, it already sets me off because I’m thinking, what if I can’t do it? I mean I’ll be able to do it no problem but that’s not what my brain thinks. Like you say let’s do an interview at 2pm I was bricking it, but actually I wasn’t. Maybe 20 hours sleep must have numbed my emotions…
How did you grow your audience?
I think about this quite a lot because I think it’s one of the biggest things I need to think about you know? My continued growth and how I go about doing that, like I’m not an expert, I’m still trying things out and getting used to things. I personally find different videos have different merits to them, like I do full game play commentary, which is where I am playing a game and talking over it, which is mainly educational and sometimes entertaining as well, like when I go on rants about things that I don’t realise until people post in the comments then I think I should rant less.
But those kinds of videos are good for money because they are long, and longer videos get more ad-revenue, but that’s never my end goal, I’m not like ‘post a commentary it’ll get me loads of money’ but they are also good for views because they are like a staple diet – like the meat of my channel and they’re easy to do as well.
But I think guide videos or stuff that I have to work harder on, gets me less money it may get more views but it gets me subscribers that’s the sustained growth that I’m looking for – they think “hey this is quite a nice guy oh he’s done quite a few guys I’ll subscribe to him” rather than “oh this guy has done a 40 minute video of him playing is nice, I’ll subscribe to him”.
I find I get more subscribers from something I’ve put more effort in or more analytical videos rather than generic videos. That’s kind of how I go about my growth, that’s just within the League of Legends games; I’m testing the waters outside of that. I want to grow on my social media first – my big goal is to – if I start a new channel then if I have more people on my Facebook and twitter it’s a further outreach and more people will be notified about my stream and I can stream different games and branch out that way as well.
How do you keep them engaged?
Viewer attention I think it’s called – I think that’s what YouTube is getting at now, it doesn’t matter – the views aren’t important your likes aren’t important but it’s viewer attention which is like how long a person spends watching your video and it’s kind of difficult because the longer the video the harder it is to retain the viewers attention.
Let’s be honest who has time to watch a 40 minute video in this day and age, when it takes you 2 minutes to make a lasagne in the microwave take it out for a minute and stir it and then put it back in for a minute is too much work and people just shove it in for 3 minutes, if people are doing that then why are they going to watch a long video with some random British Geeza talking about the game, so I think to that extent that it is inevitable for me that people are going to not be too engaged in those longer videos and I think it will be hard for me to change that.
Shorter videos I think by nature it’s easier for me to keep their attention but I’m also trying to – at the start of the video – I get people to tweet me suggestions or vote on Facebook so I give the details of how to influence what I feature in my next video will be at the end of this video so it gives them another incentive to watch till the end.
How much of an influence do you think Social Media is in keeping your audience engaged?
Not at all. I don’t feel my social media, I’ll admit I put my videos out onto my Twitter and my Facebook and stuff but I don’t feel like it really does too much. I don’t know sometimes I tweet random stuff like if you see a fox onesie in wellies that’s me, because I was in a fox onesie with wellies on that’s not really to the content to my videos – I’m still wearing the fox onesie actually it’s dead comfy!
There is a onesie paradox, I feel like I’m too hot because I’m wearing a shirt, but I don’t think it’s appropriate clothing to be naked in because there are flacks everywhere but I don’t wanna sweat in it, and I don’t know what to do! Its like when you dunk your biscuit in your tea and it breaks off in your tea, what do you do? You can’t do anything about it you have to move on, but is it going to stop you from doing it again? Well yeah, because you have to – it’s just something I have to accept it, it’s going to happen every time.
‘This is a very leading question’ How do you notify them when you are going to stream or you have a video out live?
Well there is on streaming – on twitch everyone who follows you gets an email like they get ‘foxxy is going live’ or something like that but on YouTube they get a message in your sub box but there are always issues with that and people say they’re not getting the videos in their sub box. What I do – is use social media. I also use a website called Anook as well, on there. For Twitter and Facebook I just say this is live.
*looks on Facebook*
Wow, this is higher than I last saw, so basically my videos will get between 2.5 and 4k people will see that post on average – I’m of the opinion that it’s not that influential I rely more on it being natural – maybe not the stream though – I think to stay popular you need to stream regularly, but the number of followers I have is quite high because I plug in my stream from my YouTube but they are not necessarily active viewers so like unless I’m streaming at 3 in the morning I’ll get 200 plus but sometimes I get 1k, and I don’t think that’s necessarily my followers but who is awake. I have a friend who doesn’t have as many followers as me but he streams every day and he gets higher viewers.
(Of course we then convinced Dan to get a Follow Page on the WewanaPlay app!)
How do you describe your video style?
It’s pretty much the same, predominantly educational, informative and sometimes entertaining. I hope people don’t see me as a stone cold boring kind of person. I tend to inject some kind of character into it. I used to try and chuck in some jokes every now and then cos everyone eats out jokes, especially dumb jokes. Like in League of Legends, there is a character called Nunu, he has an ability called Blood Boil.
I made a video about raging in Solo Queue and I said something like if you’re playing loads of games and your losing them all, the chances are with each game your going to get more frustrated, the next person who says you suck is going to make your blood boil – almost as if he’s Nunu. Something awful like that, but at the time everyone was like ‘Omg this is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard’.
I did a video on how to get a Girlfriend in League of Legends and – you both should take a look at this. Like you call them cute pet names, like – come here sweetiekins, come give me a leash babe, you have to get a manly champion, they want someone who they feel safe around and something like chat up lines – in real life my chat up lines are flawless as you can imagine – in League it’s worse.
What is your favourite game?
League of Legends next to Club Penguin – you are literally a penguin and you… well actually I don’t know what you do…. You know video pets? Video pets was a legendary game when I was like 5, sick game! It’s like a social game for 10 year olds, you can just chill with other penguins – see what I did there? I didn’t even do it on purpose!
What’s next for you?
To be honest with you, I think it’s a doubly hard question for me, because without sounding emo where I am in my life right now, I don’t even know. I’ve been the way I am for such a long time, it’s very easy when you’ve been a certain way and you’ve created certain habits to get lost in those habits – so for me looking at the future I don’t see anything other than the way I am right now which is difficult but I also appreciate the fact that it won’t be this way forever, as like you said earlier it does get better and I believe in that.
So from that point of view it’s difficult, but if you want a more direct answer I’d love to do YouTube forever. – I get to help people and sit on my arse all day, so it’s the perfect job.
What do you do when you are not gaming?
Sometimes I sleep for 20 hours… soo… haha. Gaming is pretty much what I do. I’m very bound to my lifestyle.
Honestly I spend a lot of my time chilling – if I’m on my own I don’t really game, but if there are people to game with I like to play.
Tell us one crazy/interesting fact about yourself?
Quite an interesting fact is that my middle name is Hawaiian, my middle name is Kamuela. That’s my middle name, its Hawaiian. Hawaiian sounds exotic and there is me like ‘alright mate, how’s it going, I’ve got a Hawaiian middle name’