It has been a quiet few weeks for Marc ‘Caedrel’ Lamont. After a long year of juggling being a fan-favourite League of Legends analyst, caster, and now-Excel Esports content creator, the Brit finally hit the dreaded burnout wall, and opted to take a well-deserved, long-overdue break. For three, blissful weeks, Caedrel left League behind – aside from the rare game here and there – and spent his time away connecting with pals and, as evidenced by the album full of photos of him actually touching grass he showed us, enjoying the outside world.
However, the decision to leave the lush foliage present in League’s jungle behind for more three-dimensional pastures was not taken lightly. As Caedrel explains in a recent video, he was concerned that his viewership would begin to decline, and his ever-growing following would turn on him for not keeping up with the content output required to stay at the top – a thought process we know many content creators unfortunately go through.
But the viewers didn’t leave, and as Caedrel hit ‘start streaming’ for the first time since his break, his loyal Griefingdor legion quickly began to trickle back in. As he explains to The Loadout, the experience has been “eye opening” for all the right reasons. With that said, Caedrel has had to readjust to keeping those eyes of his on Twitch chat.
“Reading chat is so hard after three weeks,” Caedrel admits with a smirk, “and it sounds weird, but when you’re in a streaming groove you don’t really think about starting your stream and just playing and talking to chat. But after a break, it feels really awkward to sit in front of a camera and talk to chat – you think about it a lot more in a step-by-step process rather than it being natural. So the first couple of days I was choking a bit, and my heart was racing because I was nervous – I didn’t know how to stream again.”
me and xiaohu combined have more msi titles that faker 😎
— Marc (@Caedrel) May 29, 2022
After a few days, the rust had been shaved away, and Caedrel was truly back in the game. Although it has been an incredibly busy year for him so far, he’s clearly learned a lot about managing the demands of his multiple roles, and his own health. Another aspect which, perhaps unintentionally, has aided this is the LEC’s motion to continue introducing a greater variety of talent into its broadcast team this year.
From returning faces like Georgia ‘Troubleinc’ Paras, to newbies like Alex ‘Nymaera’ Hapgood, making fewer stage appearances has allowed Caedrel to place a greater focus on his own content creation pursuits.
“It makes it a lot easier to stream,” Caedrel says. “And I think that having more talent around makes it less of a strain on Riot. If I’m sick, then it’s much easier for them to be like ‘hey, we can get a guest in. They’ve already been in. We trust them. They’re doing a good job. Let’s throw them a game.’”
Back on Twitch, Caedrel was quick to return to co-streaming the now-concluded League Mid-Season Invitational. Aside from sharing his numerous nuggets of wisdom on how G2 could’ve overcome T1 with us, Caedrel also noted his displeasure with its overall format – an issue which once again came to the forefront of the tournament’s discourse as it did last year.
MSI really was just 66 best of 1s into 3 best of 5s
fix that format
— Marc (@Caedrel) May 24, 2022
“I think the problem Riot has run into is, when you introduce 30-odd best-of-ones with both major and minor regions, where the major regions just demolish the minor ones, it brings a lot of viewer fatigue,” Caedrel says. “I think the stat was there were 66 best-of-ones and three best-of-fives, which I think is outrageous for an international event.”
The current format, Caedrel feels, can also be unforgiving to those minor region teams who end up being dismantled by the big dogs – for reference, not a single major region team lost to a minor region team during the MSI 2022 Group Stage.
“I think it’s a bit unfair on the minor region teams because it can cause a lot of self doubt,” he says. “Yes, you’re excited to face a major region team, but when you arrive and they demolish you, it’s almost like they’re in a different galaxy of skill. And you just hurt yourself because you’re like ‘wow, I’m trash, my region sucks, I’m never gonna be that good.’”
Of course, finding a solution that works for everyone is incredibly difficult, though Caedrel has a few ideas for where Riot could start – the chief one for the first phase of MSI being a play-ins format for minor region teams to compete and grow against each other, before being subjected to the major region sides.
Meanwhile, to remedy the lack of best-of-five series, Caedrel would love to see a bigger best-of-five structure introduced – be it double-elimination or otherwise. However, he remains confident that Riot will “definitely take it [MSI 2022] as a learning experience”.
For now, then we can look forward to seeing Caedrel back on the LEC broadcast when the 2022 Summer Split kicks off on June 17, though he will certainly be cooking up plenty of content over on his Twitch channel to tide fans over until then and beyond.