Interviews

Photo credit: MethodKailoren

Interviews are one of my favourite types of content to produce. I love talking to people, getting to know them and unearthing their views. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people, from celebrities to industry folk and in recent years some of the biggest personalities in esports.

My interview style is very conversational and, while I like to put in a good amount of research before conducting one, I tend not to follow a stilted list of questions. Instead, I prefer to just have a chat (of course, this only works properly over the phone or in person, but with my time so limited these days I do see value in email interviews too).

Here are ten of my most memorable interviews, most of which are in video and written form.

‘Esports almost killed me’ – Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner talks burnout and the importance of downtime

I had a chance to interview one of Britain’s biggest esports personalities and hosts about all things esports, the challenges of going freelance and – perhaps most importantly – looking after your health.

I felt this interview was important and this was reflected in being picked up prominently on Reddit and becoming one of my site’s most-read articles.

I’ve since interviewed Paul Chaloner again about gambling in esports, the rise of the auto chess genre, Brexit and more.

Kiandymundi interview: Inside the mad and marvellous mind of the UK League of Legends content creator

Though I cover esports, I don’t like to just focus on players and core competitive gaming personalities, I like to crossover into the world of streaming and general game culture surrounding esports too.

One of the UK’s wildest and wackiest League of Legends content creators is undoubtedly Kiandymundi. In this interview, we discussed everything from how he got into streaming, his unique style and inspirations and his creative methods and cartoons.

Richard Lewis video interview: the decline of UK esports and how to make it great again

After making comments back in 2016 that UK esports should be ‘nuked from space’, I wrote a news piece on this and it caught Richard’s attention.

He offered to talk to me about what can be done ‘after the nuking’! It ended up being a really interesting two-part video interview – Richard is obviously an experienced esports journalist and in this interview he provided a lot of insight into the background of UK esports.

What it takes to be World of Warcraft’s best PVP Outlaw Rogue: Video interview with Whaazz from Method Black

Danish World of Warcraft player Oscar ‘Whaazz’ Wulff is one of the world’s best rogue PVP players. s

As a rogue main myself (it inspired my first novel ‘Turning Red’), I personally enjoyed asking Oscar about the class, his techniques and the state of the game going into the Battle for Azeroth expansion.

Gross Gore on hoping to leave drama behind and reforming his image

It’s fair to say that British streamer Ali ‘Gross Gore’ Larsen divides opinion. He’s a controversial figure and has had his ups and downs, but he is still one of the most well-known figures in League of Legends from the UK (a fact that Riot Games probably aren’t too fond of).

Nevertheless, Ali was very friendly in this interview with me. It was conducted back in 2016 and was about Ali trying to ‘leave drama behind’. That didn’t entirely work out for him, but would he be as popular without all the drama?

Rekkles interview – ‘give 110% and you can get anywhere’ 

I sat down with Fnatic ADC and one of the best League of Legends players in the world – Martin “Rekkles” Larsson – at the launch of some Fnatic Gear products.

We discussed what’s needed to go pro, how League of Legends players can improve, why losing can be better than winning and his thoughts on Worlds 2016.

Ryan Hart interview: Fighting game legend offers valuable tips for esports players and aspiring professionals

In one of my live on-stream interviews for British Esports, I had a chat with fighting game legend Ryan Hart to ask about his illustrious playing career, how he got to where he is today and what his most memorable moments have been.

How to be an esports host – a chat with Frankie Ward

Esteemed British esports host and streamer Frankie Ward offered some great advice for prospective hosts in this interview for the British Esports Association.

Frankie has real charisma and energy, and she let me into some of her own interview techniques, one of which being ‘charm and disarm’! As a content creator you are forever learning – and I felt I learnt a lot from this interview.

xPeke Worlds 2015 video interview: “We would have a UK player on Origen… if he was like Faker!”

When I interviewed xPeke back in 2015, I had just launched Esports News UK and it felt a bit surreal talking to the person responsible for one of the best plays in League of Legends esports history (which now has 10m views and counting).

I spoke to xPeke to discuss his side’s win over Flash Wolves at the Worlds 2015 Quarter Finals at Wembley and UK esports talent. He told me he’d sign a UK player if they were like Faker. A few years later, Origen signed one of the UK’s best LoL players: Alphari (see below).

Interview with British League of Legends players Alphari and Maxlore before they made it big

One of the things I love about covering grassroots esports is identifying the stars of the future.

Viewers of UK League of Legends esports back in 2015 could see that Alphari and Maxlore had potential – and they went on to play in the LEC. It’s fun to look back on this interview and see how much they’ve developed since.

Honourable mentions

I once interviewed Sesame Street Muppets Elmo, Grover and Abby Cadabby in what was quite possibly the weirdest interview I’ve ever carried out. I also spoke to former Premier League footballer Clint Dempsey about being made into a toy.

Sometimes press officers don’t give you much time with an interviewee. I literally had two minutes with entrepreneur Michael Acton Smith, the founder of Firebox and Mind Candy (the firm behind the Moshi Monsters kids’ craze). But sometimes less is more.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a big kid,” Michael told me. “I don’t take things too seriously. It’s important to retain childish, fun things and be playful.”

Amen to that. I conducted these interviews when I was deputy editor of industry publication ToyNews back in 2012 and 2013. I actually had a ton of fun working there. So if esports doesn’t work out for me, at least I have another industry to fall back on!

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