Choke Gaming’s 20-year-old UK League of Legends ADC player Joseph “Joekerism” Kent has produced a montage video of top plays, which was featured on LoL Reddit’s front page.
In just one day, the video has been watched more than 55,000 times and has hundreds of comments on both YouTube and Reddit.
I wanted to highlight this, not because it’s a well-edited video with some impressive moments, but because it shows what a bit of self-belief and marketing can do.
The UK League of Legends scene has (or had – we’re still in off-season at the moment and some have moved out of the UK or into Overwatch) some very talented individual players. We’ve seen the likes of Maxlore and KaSing make it into the EU LCS, with others like Alphari, Caedrel and League veteran Impaler recently playing in the Challenger Series.
In my opinion there are others just as good as them, but have not yet had the luck or opportunity of being picked up by a larger EU organisation.
Like other sports and professions, there are of course many reasons why someone ‘makes it’ and others don’t. There can be fine lines between the amateur and professional/top-tier levels, and getting to the top can come down to a mixture of luck, talent and attitude.
Footballers might not need to record their best bits and send them off to different managers; scouts can find talent themselves. But League of Legends isn’t football – it doesn’t always work like that.
Of course, you’ll always need talent to get picked up by a bigger org, but I’m also interested in the luck and attitude parts. I’m not sure I believe in the mantra ‘you make your own luck’, but there’s no doubt that having a positive mental attitude and real self-belief can play a big part in someone’s success, whether that’s within eSports or elsewhere.
“In today’s digital age and with all the social media channels out there, it’s easier than ever for competitive gamers to make a name for themselves – by themselves.”
Joekerism certainly has that self-belief – and determination – he’s been playing League of Legends since Season 3, and has been playing competitively in the UK scene for two years now.
He made it into the top four of Riot’s 4Nations tournament in late 2014 with uwotm8, has participated at various Insomnia/ESL UK Premiership LANs with Choke and has also played with Excel Esports for a while.
Where others have left the scene, been tempted across to Overwatch or even dropped out to become lit music producers, Joekerism has carried on doing his thing, putting in the hard work and making his latest video.
Joekerism has lived in Kettering all his life, but today he lives in what seems to be becoming the UK eSports hub – Leicester. While he believes the idea of going pro would be “amazing”, Joekerism is remaining grounded.
“To be honest I’m working full time as a freelance designer and I don’t really have the time that’s needed to practice to be pro,” he tells eSports News UK.
“I think at the moment I want to develop my YouTube and create more content like montages – maybe get into streaming – whilst still playing some competitive League in the UK scene,” Joekerism says.
“But yeah, my montage got some really nice reception so I’m thinking that maybe I can make something out of my YouTube channel. I’ve actually seen some LoL editors get picked up by Riot to create content for them – and that would be f*cking amazing!
“I think Datjellyfish and ThePeacePigeon both do work for Riot and started off as montage makers. So I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and see where it goes, I guess.”
It’s not the first time Joekerism has generated this kind of coverage. He published his first Diamond 1 ADC montage video two years ago, which drew 290 comments on Reddit and over 100,000 views on YouTube. That’s much, much more than UK matches and finals receive.
Joekerism’s first montage video, posted in 2014
In today’s digital age and with all the social media channels out there, it’s easier than ever for competitive gamers to make a name for themselves – by themselves. Joekerism has shown that first hand.
I just think other UK players can take a leaf out of his book, and with this player power, along with a bit of self-belief and determination, raise their standing with the League of Legends community. And that can only be a good thing for their future and their eSports career in the long-run.
“I think that having a social media presence is really useful if you’re wanting to get your name out there and get picked up by good teams,” Joekerism comments. “And what better way to get your name out there than crushing people in ranked and creating a montage out of it!
“I think that having a social media presence is really useful if you’re wanting to get your name out there and get picked up by good teams.”
“And, thinking about it, with lots of pro teams not playing dynamic queue ranked anymore, it’s even more difficult to get noticed by teams by just meeting people in ranked.”
On that note, in my opinion more UK players should try a bit of self-marketing like this and see where it takes them. A lot of great players in the UK League scene haven’t done anything like this, and because of that, perhaps they aren’t as well known.
Joekerism has proven with his latest video that self-marketing and a bit of self-belief can go a long way.
Image source: ESL UK Flickr/Scott Choucino
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.