Lara 'hoxieloxie' Schofield

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

ITB Interviews Focus Fire Series

 
hoxieloxie


This week ITB Interviews had the pleasure of talking with Lara 'hoxieloxie' Schofield, who has been making moves in the UK Dota community and progressively growing her stream. She recently achieved a milestone of Twitch partnership, then gaining sponsorship with CoolerMasterUK. Focused on developing her streaming career, we chat with her to find out more.



 
-> Focus 1: Introductions and Background

ITB:

Hey Hoxie! Thanks for taking time out to chat with us. We're excited to find out more about a growing UK Dota streamer and congratulations on achieving Twitch partnership!


What brought you to Dota and streaming, and what were your first experiences playing Dota?


Hoxie:

Dota 2 was actually introduced to me by my boyfriend at the time, in 2013. I was at his house and he sat me down at his computer and launched it and I honestly hated it. I guess I stuck with it because he liked the game and it was something other than Minecraft that we could play together.

Then when I first found myself living on my own, this was January 2019, I was bored and lonely and realised with just me using my broadband I could probably just turn on twitch and start broadcasting my random dota brain thoughts to

the whole of the internet.


After hitting affiliate in February, I got my first payout in August 2019 and started trying to stick to a schedule.


ITB:

How did family and friends respond to you taking streaming more seriously? Were they supportive of the route you were taking?

Hoxie:

It wasn't like I was giving up my dayjob for streaming, my parents were supportive and honestly my Mum is one of my longest subscribers. Following a very successful few months at the end of 2019 I told my parents I wanted to really work hard because streaming was something I actually felt passionate about. I guess the thing that makes me stay is the fact that there's at least one person out there who is excited to watch me, and my community is super sweet - I wouldn't change them for the world.





--> Focus 2: Streaming and Engaging with Twitch Chat

ITB:

Let's talk about your growth as a streamer and how you responded to this. How'd this come about and how did you process becoming more of a public persona?


Hoxie:

Going from 0 viewers to getting Twitch Partner within 2 years was honestly an insane journey, although it may not seem so. Following me being featured in a Reddit post (a screenshot of Team Secret/OG's twitter interaction) I reached 50 average viewers by December, and went from streaming 2 days a week to 3. For me it's so much more than playing games and putting a webcam on especially if you plan on interacting with chat a lot.



I avoided using facecam for a long time because of things like this and it does make me wanna turn it back off. Anonymity makes it incredibly easy for people to be bad people without repercussion.


ITB:

It's definitely a reoccurring issue and one so difficult to tackle - anonymity being the principle cause of that. Despite this, what's your usual go-to way of interacting with chat?


Hoxie:

I ask how chat is doing, ask about their day, say hello to the regulars coming back and welcome anyone who is new. I try to thank every new follow and sub and read every message and the biggest bit of advice I can give is stay hydrated - your throat will end up sore within the first hour otherwise.


ITB:

What about Twitch Partnership, how'd this come about?


Hoxie:

After a pretty baffling few months where I ended up adding a fourth day to my weekly stream schedule I applied for Twitch Partner in August 2020.15 days later got a visit from Twitch Staff in my chat - I got Twitch Partner on my first try and actually cried on stream, not the first time I've done that but still just as embarrasing!

I'll never lose my love for Dota, that game changed my life but I want to continue occasionally streaming other games. Full time streaming is something I'd love to pursue but that'd be a lengthy process. I get asked a lot about whether I would cast Dota at events and things but I know so many wonderful people who are deserving of those kind of opportunities. If streaming is something I feel comfortable with and can kind of do pretty well I don't want to step on any toes.





---> Focus 3: Women in Esports

ITB:

In our prior interview, we spoke with Sheepo about the problems of sexual harassment and objectification of women in esports. When asked, Sheepo understandably said that this was an exhausting topic for her because when she thinks about what has changed as a consequence, it's not much if anything at all. Do you agree?


Hoxie:

I agree with Sheepo that it's an exhausting topic to speak about. I like to believe the community has had at least a small wake up call after everything that happened, but there's still such a long way to go. You can tweet all you like that you believe women but I think reality is the horrible attitudes towards women that we hear about are incredibly deep rooted and it'll never be as simple as "just mute them" when bad people still feel entitled to the attention or bodies of others.


I'll admit my viewer base (as far as Twitch Analytics tells me, and as far as I know from my viewers) mostly identify themselves as boys/men but there has been women who message me or type in chat to tell me it's nice to see a girl streamer, and someone they can empathize with when it comes to navigating a, let's be real, rather rude gaming community a good portion of the time.


ITB:

How do you navigate these attitudes when engaging with them on a daily basis?


Hoxie:

I feel quite comfortable with the fact those people feel that way, over the time I've been streaming I've become less soft with people who are rude and expect me to be polite and nice when I tell them for the thirteenth time they're not getting added on Steam just because they're offering to boost me (I'm perfectly comfortable being terrible at this game).

I guess moving forward I hope to not be put on a super high pedestal. I'm definitely not perfect and have snapped with people more than once ingame, I also have a history of being pretty toxic (come on we've all fed rapiers on Crystal Maiden right?) and I'm sure if you did some digging you'd find something I said when I was a dumb teenager. I consider myself to be quite catty, but people can change and I have improved a lot since then.





----> Focus 4: Mental Health

ITB:

Another aspect we wanted to touch on was mental health and Dota. How is your mental health right now, and how've you been feeling lately?


Hoxie:

So I was actually looking forward to answering this question because I think I come across quite happy and excitable most of the time on my stream. I'm actually incredibly introverted, and have suffered with depression for a long time. I'm incredibly emotional and I currently am receiving private counselling. Videogames were definitely an escape for me and I used to play them a lot more before I started spending less time on those and more time at the gym. Games can be super addictive and I feel like there should be more serious conversations about that.

I guess that makes Dota sound like an enemy but as I mentioned earlier that game seriously changed my life. I've fallen in love with the characters and soundtracks and the players and I'll never forget the way going to Dota events and seeing all my friends makes me feel. It's a massive part of my life and I will always love it.


ITB:

Do you think your relationship with Dota itself has improved over time? Hoxie:

I'm definitely in a better place now about Dota than I was, I try to play other games and take time away from videogames overall too, although right now I'm very close to burnout especially while working my day job. Hopefully things will get better soon!




-----> Focus 5: UK Dota and Ranked

ITB:

We've touched on some heavy topics which I know can be hard to discuss. So let's talk something a bit more lighthearted - UK Dota and your ranked games. What're your thoughts on UK Dota now and prior?


Hoxie:

Back when they were I thing, I went to a couple of Epiclans before Dota kind of 'died out' there, and it was fun and honestly I was just way too overexcited. I was also incredibly annoying at these lans, I know a lot of older members of the UK community don't exactly love me... But it was great to finally meet people who weren't 5 hour plane journeys away that enjoyed the same thing I did. Since those LANs, and up until ESL Birmingham I kind of saw UK Dota as this small closed off community that wasn't really up to much.


ITB:

Has your perspective changed at all?


Hoxie:

My perspective now is definitely different, it's great to see University leagues and ESL Premiership on my feed with UK teams getting involved, you know with actual prize pools and stuff. I know a few UK players who I think have amazing potential so it's great to have these opportunities in our country.

In my opinion people just saw the UK as a Dota Talent Generator but after ESL I feel like, especially because it was a major, it kind of reminded people that hey, yeah, the UK is here, we've got fans, lots of them, and we also like chanting during Dota games. ESL wouldn't have picked out the UK if they didn't think there was an audience.


ITB:

That's great to hear! We're just as hype as you are, and can't wait to get back to events and see the return of ESL Birmingham. How about your ranked games, how're they going? Favorite hero to play right now?


Hoxie:

You're expecting me to say Crystal Maiden, but I love Undying right now. That guy gets so fat so quick and if you get Aghs I swear he's unstoppable. The only reason I practice him is because I only really play unranked at the moment. I lost like 800 mmr and I'm terrified of falling back into the 2k bracket!


ITB:

And the final and most important question... Cats or dogs?


Hoxie:

Cats or dogs is difficult. I've always loved dogs and since I was young wanted a big slobbery dog that I could cuddle up with, but since I got my own place I realized it's difficult when you have to, you know, work. Maybe if I ever streamed full time.


Me and my housemate did just get a cat! She's called Kestral, and for reasons we're not sure of she's quite overweight. She's incredibly sassy and despite her ruining my carpet and peeing on my stuff I do love her a lot.


ITB:

Thanks Hoxie! It's been great catching up and learning more about you! We'll certainly be dropping your stream in the future. Best of luck!



[INTERVIEW END]

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Hello again Dota People,

This is the second is our series of interviews within the 'Focus Fire' series. Next week, we'll be touching with Mr Big Jams, who has recently been commentating on ESL Birmingham, and found his big break by participating in the BeyondTheSummit's yearly tournament.

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