Fox: ‘COD fans are more interested in hearing about the players than the game itself’

Rondez “Fox” Green is an esports analyst & commentator, video producer, and host. He currently works as a freelance, on-camera talent for media outlets and tournament organizers such as Major League GamingUMG, and PVP Live.

I had a chance to talk to the rising commentator about his progression in esports, how he prepares for major events, and the present and future of his content.

You made your commentating debut at the Call of Duty Championship NA Regional Finals in 2015. What have you learned since then and what do you think you still need to work on moving forward with your commentating career?

Wow. I can start with so many things. Seeing and hearing my commentary before being more involved in the CWL actually makes me cringe so hard. I’m actually upset I’m thinking about this right now. Not only are there MANY bad public speaking habits I’ve shaken since then, my appearance and overall maturity has vastly improved since then. The biggest help has to be the professional training and experience that Activision and the CWL has brought my way. Sometimes you need professionals to let you know that some shit you’re doing is terrible or can be improved.

A big thing I learned is that viewers almost NEVER offer useful, negative criticism unless it’s a blatantly obvious issue that you have. They also tend to take small, passable things and blow them up. There’s also a selection of them that totally misunderstand you or completely misquote what you say. You also can’t ignore peoples’ biases against you or things that you say.

My main thing I want to work on is fitting my typical sense of humor in to a broadcast. I think I’m doing a great job at what I do, and that I’m only improving, but there are definitely still things I’d like to add to my work.

You’ve expressed interest in commentating Overwatch. Activision Blizzard announced earlier this week the first seven team owners and partners for the Overwatch League. Are you skeptical that powerhouse organizations like Cloud 9 and Team EnVyUs aren’t involved?

Yeah I’m skeptical about that and a few other things; for instance, that there is no EU or Canada representation. For NA, there isn’t even anything in Texas or Vegas yet, which is odd. I’m gonna give it more time as I realize things are still building and have yet to be released.

I noticed that you were very prepared for the CWL Anaheim Open. What is your general preparation plan for major events?

I watch a TON of previous event VODs, pro player live streams, and even listen to color commentary of my respected commentators in other titles that I enjoy. A big part of it is also when I do my personal content on my YouTube channel, as it helps me remember everything as I’m physically “performing” it. I try to keep close note of stories between players and how teams are improving. I have word documents of every team in the CWL that I’ll update from time to time.

You’re very analytical, but a common conception in traditional sports media is that it’s not always about being right, it’s about being interesting. Do you think that’s true in esports?

Is there a place in the medium to be neutral on most topics or is the “Thorin” approach, highly opinionated, the way to go?

Well I’ll definitely always speak my mind and make sure that my logic is consistent, unbiased, and sensible in what I say, but yes, being interesting is key. I learned a while ago that COD fans are more interested in hearing about the players than the game itself. I can’t just sit there and essentially lecture people, they get bored unless it’s relatable or I show my natural sense of humor. Also, many people don’t like a verbal wall of stats with no context thrown at them. Don’t do that. Not good.

Do you think in terms of retweets and likes when creating your personal content?

Often, yeah I do. At the end of the day, I can’t put as much time and work in to my content with little to no rewards forever. Still, I try to stay true to what I personally think is cool and interesting, while also giving people what they like. My integrity is really important to me.

A while ago, I did some funny skits about COD. These pieces were less than a minute long and felt like they took even less time and effort to make. They got thousands and thousands of views and even shared across twitter and multiple subreddits far more than my usual content, and even got the attention of some of the big YouTubers. That type of shit doesn’t interest me though.

Rumors pop up everywhere in esports. How do you decide to put out information that isn’t concrete?

I try to stray away from tabloid type stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, that’s just not something I’m interested in, and it never has been. I’m not a big “what if?” kind of guy.

Finally, what can we expect from you in the near future regarding commentating and content?

I want to keep making cool, enjoyable content. I want to be able to hype up arbitrary goals like hitting 10,000 subscribers on YouTube. I want to keep building my platform by making unique, thought-provoking work. I will keep putting respectable effort in to my work and keep surpassing myself. I hate complacency, that’s just not me.

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