How EUphoria changed the EU LCS landscape
How many times have you heard the EU LCS has no personalities sentiment? In fact, you might still think this if you haven’t tuned in to the actual broadcast. But things changed in the 2018 Spring Split. And one of the bigger reasons behind it is EUphoria.
Crafting a narrative
For the record, we’re not talking about the hit single by Loreen, but rather the Riot Games’ podcast with Drakos, Deficio, and guests that include EU LCS players, coaches, and owners. Deficio brings the high-level analysis and snide remarks that so many viewers know and love, while Drakos plays the straight man and tries to stay on topic with varying degrees of success. But it’s really the guests that push the podcast to the next level.
The spotlight is on them. And contrary to the EU LCS reputation, they make good use of it. Whether it’s the deadpan delivery from Gilius, the infectious laughter from Jiizuke and KaSing, or the dog champ back-and-forth form sOAZ and Odoamne, there’s always something (or someone) to keep you listening.
EUphoria also provides a unique insight into the inner working of the league. Without this podcast, you’d never know how much credit Rekkles gives to his coach YoungBuck, what Jankos thinks about the flaws of the 2017 H2K roster, or how the EU LCS owners want to approach the upcoming franchising system. It never gets overwhelming, though, and for every serious topic, there’s a more laid-back talking point like Jiizuke’s old majestic haircut.
Moreover, EUphoria adds an extra layer to the EU LCS itself. It’s always more fun to follow games when you know there’s something at stake—and it doesn’t get better than hosts betting against guests on match results. Granted, these wagers don’t involve actual money, but instead, they put pride and dignity on the line. So if you see a random tweet with Deficio calling Rekkles the only real AD carry or a video of Odoamne making predictions in a dog costume, it probably happened because of EUphoria.
Room for improvement
Currently, there’s a total of 12 EUphoria episodes. The podcast has been running for a while, and it’s been gradually getting more and more refined. It can be better, though. One common complaint is the lack of video, and while that’s supposed to come in summer, it still took way too long to implement it.
Also, the podcast does a good job of giving the spotlight to superstars and trending players. But what about everyone else? Maybe Memento wants to talk about how he reinvented himself on Team ROCCAT? Or Selfie can shed some light on what’s it like to save H2K’s sinking ship? Obviously, this is the first season of the podcast, so it makes sense to bring in the most popular players to get a good start. But it’d be cool to see EUphoria take more risks with guest selection in the future.
In the end, though, there’s no denying that Europe needed more personality-focused content. If you want viewers to be invested in the EU LCS, you have to tell them more about the league’s players, coaches, and casters. And in that regard, EUphoria delivers on all fronts.
Image courtesy of Riot Games