Belgian host Eefje ‘sjokz’ Depoortere is ready to make herself a name in any esports discipline.
Photo credit: OverTake
In any esports scene, there are certain big names one cannot avoid when indulging in a game. For League of Legends, Eefje ‘sjokz’ Depoortere has definitely become one of those. The Belgian esports host first ventured into the world of esports as a teenager by competing in esports competitions with the Belgian national team. She specialized in hosting events of the renowned MOBA-game League of Legends in 2012. Ever since, the 33-year-old has held interviews with world-famous players and hosted events all over the globe – no problem for the esports expert, as she speaks four languages and is still expanding her repertoire.
With all that going for her, we are extremely proud to welcome sjokz as the Captain of Team RED in our second edition of Clash of Racers! If you want to see the Belgian expert expand her esports inventory and gaining sim racing proficiency, tune in to the event on December 13. But for now, let’s get to know the red side’s leader a little better.
Working her passion
Despite it being her specialty nowadays, sjokz’ gateway into esports was not League of Legends. When the Belgian first ventured into the scene, it was as a player. Roughly eighteen years ago, she competed in the first-person shooter game Unreal Tournament ’99. And not unsuccessfully either: by taking part in several LANs and winning ClanBase EuroCups with the Belgian national team, she made a name for herself in the community. Quite literally even: her nickname “sjokz” being a Flemish phonetic spelling of “shocks”, deriving from her signature use of the Shock Rifle in-game.
After her competitive career in Unreal Tournament ’99, sjokz made her first appearance in the League-scene in the podcast “Whose League is it anyway?” in 2012. The podcast episodes introduced sjokz to North America’s esports scene and are still available on Travis Gafford’s YouTube channel.
Sjokz’ decision to build her career in esports manifested itself when the Belgian finished college back in 2012. After having studied history, journalism and getting a teaching degree, she decided that it was time to enter the job market. She already regularly wrote for an esports organization and was completely hooked on League of Legends – after attending the DreamHack tournament in 2012 and coming into contact with League-developer Riot Games, she just knew it. In her own words:
At that point I didn’t see it as a career, but after attending Dreamhack Summer 2012, meeting the teams, Riot-staff and just being around all the fans and competition made me realize: “This is what I want to do – nothing else.”
Climbing to the top
From there on, sjokz took over the Summoner’s Recap for SK Gaming and slowly secured her standing in the scene. Reeling in offers from overseas companies and coming to participate in almost all larger events of the game, “sjokz” soon became a name that any fan of the scene would recognize. Since then, she has been the number one choice to interview the most successful players and host top-tier tournaments all around the globe.
Even today, sjokz constantly finds ways to improve her work. With her seemingly unsatiable ambition to grow as a person and host, the Belgian living in Germany is not only sitting on her three academic degrees, but also recently started learning Spanish – next to Dutch, English, French and German, this is already her fifth language.
It‘s high time to add a fifth language to the inventory. Yo empiezo con clases de español la próxima semana 😊😊— Eefje Depoortere (@sjokz) November 22, 2020
Sjokz’ dedication of course also shows in her work. Back in 2013, she described her working routine as an esports journalist and host as follows:
For me personally events are hard work. I aim to get to the venue half an hour before the games start, I rarely see an entire match because I’m running around with my tripod and camera. I run around gathering info, taking notes, preparing interviews, I set up my own camera and conduct the interviews, edit them, upload them and go back to the venue. I think that’s one of the key reasons that a lot of them do well – but it’s exhausting, in a good way!
A female pioneer in esports
When esports and especially League of Legends were still developing, sjokz made her way into the scene as one of the first women to aim for the stage. Even today, she is one of the few female casters and hosts in esports who have really made it big in the industry. As such, and for her otherwise outstanding performances, sjokz has recently been given the award for Esports Host of the Year 2020, presented by Lexus.
With such an impressive record, we are more than stoked to have the esports icon join us for Clash of Racers II! In leadership for Team RED, sjokz will venture into the world of esports racing for the first time – but if her start here is anywhere as successful as with League of Legends, we are surely in for an exciting ride. Do not miss the League-star taking the wheel and tune in to the event on December 13!
More Portraits of esports racing personalities:
For more information on Clash of Racers II, make sure to follow us at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!