How the pandemic turned e
In mid April, with most of the world still on lockdown and just about every professional sports season scuttled, what was a superstar athlete to do If you were LeBron James, you meditated and played one on one with your son. Sidney Crosby, meanwhile, whiled away the hours on a stationary bike. Vlad Guerrero Jr. reverted to vitilla, the broomstick and bottle cap version of stickball coque huawei p20 he played as a kid in the Dominican. But for Surefour, the unofficial captain of the Toronto Defiant, one of the most coque iphone 6 qui recharge recent expansion teams in the Overwatch League, it was business as usual.
If the words in that sentence mean as much to you as the lyrics in a Megan Thee Stallion rap, bear with me. Surefour is a 25 year old Calgarian born Lane Roberts and known to pro video gamers as one of the best Overwatch players in the world. Overwatch is an immensely popular first person shooter video game that debuted in 2016 and immediately became a fixture in the world of e sports. The Overwatch League known as OWL was founded two years later and now comprises 20 teams, from Shanghai to Paris, all of which, pre pandemic, played to live audiences in arenas and concert halls on almost every continent. Barring a new Avengers movie starring Cristiano Ronaldo and Serena Williams, it could be the most beloved entertainment on coque iphone 6s champion earth.
In March, as cities and countries were ordered to stay indoors, the audience for Overwatch exploded. Athletes much better known for their skills on the court and the ice flocked to the game. Luka Doncic, a young NBA superstar and long time Overwatch and Call of Duty fan, used to game a couple of hours a day. Now, he’s on his computer and Twitter constantly, grousing about Overwatch minutiae. Raptors Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller and Maple Leaf Mitch Marner are teaming up with e sports players in Call of Duty matches. Leafs forward Zach Hyman, already a big gamer and investor in the space, has been playing for charity against Marner and streaming their games on Twitch, the Amazon owned livestreaming video platform. Nobody thinks that e sports will permanently replace coque iphone 7 101 dalmatians traditional sports, but for the time being, they are a welcome substitute.
Unlike the NBA hema coque iphone 6 plus and the NHL, OWL’s teams didn’t stop playing when the pandemic shut everyone inside. Since players already had their own PCs, headsets and particular keyboard and mouse setups, they could just roll out of bed in time for matches. The season was already being broadcast on YouTube’s gaming channel. Colour commentators worked remotely, too. It was an inadvertent kind of homecoming.
In Surefour’s Liberty Village condo, which he shares with another Defiant player, a Belgian named Andreas « Logix » Berghmans, the shift was greeted with understated glee. Prior to the pandemic, Surefour, who is pale and rabbity, with floppy brown hair that he often dyes platinum blond, really only left his place to practise with the team or to travel to matches. All his meals were delivered. When he wasn’t playing Overwatch, he was playing other video games. When he wasn’t competing, he was livestreaming his games on Twitch. While the rest of us coque personnalisees iphone were adjusting to working from home in our soft pants, Surefour was wearing the same uniform he’s always worn: a black hoodie and sweats. He wasn’t finding it difficult to stay away from people. Quite the contrary: he has always preferred his own coque iphone 6s bmc company. « In social stuff, there’s a lot of drama, » Surefour told me. https://www.aquawood.fr/products/coque-iphone-7-letrange-noel-de-mr-jack-715pascher3319 « A lot of stuff you have to force. Societal standards. And I just don’t want to deal with it for the most part. » Aside from the lack of travel, which he loathed anyway, his new normal was just like his old normal. « Literally, nothing has changed, » he said. « If there was no Internet, then we would be fucked. » The Defiant’s general manager, Jaesun Won, put it less colourfully: « In a way, we’ve been practising for a shutdown for a long time. »
1. Surefour: A 25 year old named Lane Roberts from Calgary, and one of the game’s best players. On the streaming site Twitch, his tagline is « Watch me kill things. » 2. https://www.alpesprobois.fr/products/coque-iphone-11-hulk-823iphone114070 https://www.alpesprobois.fr/products/coque-iphone-11-pro-max-heaven-d9672 Logix: Andreas Berghmans, 22, from Belgium. He wound up in a juvenile detention centre, where he turned his love of video games into a career. 3. collier or medaille https://www.alpesprobois.fr/products/coque-iphone-8-avec-une-rose-710pascher5760 Roky: A 21 year old named JooSung Park from South Korea. He studied theatrical acting and modern dance before getting into Overwatch
Today, traditional sports junkies really have only two ways to get their competitive fix: they can watch reruns of old games on Sportsnet or YouTube, or dive into the intriguing, if unfamiliar, world of e sports. Some servers, including the one the Defiant use, were overwhelmed with traffic and temporarily shut down. Just as the NHL was facing a billion dollar revenue hole and estimates put the NBA at $500 million in lost ticket sales alone, the gaming platform Steam reported record numbers of players up to 24 million a day in early April. The Twitch audience rose 23 per cent in March, with viewers logging more than 1.2 billion hours. Jon Spector, the VP of Overwatch E sports, told me that in China and South Korea, where the league broadcasts live matches during prime time, viewership has been unprecedented. In other words, the pandemic became a great time to launch. « With our city based model, if you’re a Leafs fan or a Raptors fan and you’re missing your regular sport, you have the ability to get behind the Defiant. »
Video games have been a popular pastime for half a century, but the widespread adoption of broadband Internet in the late ’90s and cheaper PCs made them something you could play with people you didn’t know, all over the world. Then, a few years later, thanks to Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Mixer, you could watch other people play video games all over the world. Specifically, people who could play video games very well or who could accompany their gameplay with captivating commentary. Those platforms enabled individual gamers to be, all at once, broadcasters, coque iphone 5s avec verre trempe viewers and participants, and gave birth to a generation of gaming superstars (the most famous being the American legend known as Ninja). elegant argent couleur luxueux floral goutte deau cristal clair longue goutte boucles doreilles Streaming also allowed for the broadcast of professional gaming tournaments and leagues. By the 2010s, e sports were a global phenomenon, with league owners and operators adopting familiar business models and concepts from traditional sports including broadcast rights, sponsorship, ticket sales and merchandise. Something like a Hollywood director coque iphone 6 constellation remaking a successful foreign film in the hope of broadening the original’s appeal.
Overwatch arrived in this world on May 24, 2016. It was the creation of Blizzard Entertainment, a video game developer in Irvine, California, the wizards behind World of Warcraft and StarCraft. (Blizzard is a division of Activision Blizzard, which in 2017 joined the Fortune 500, only the third gaming company to do so.) Overwatch borrowed a lot from classic games Halo, Mega Man, Team Fortress 2 but, crucially, from early on, the game was conceived so that an e sports league, owned and operated by Blizzard, could be built around it. https://www.alpesprobois.fr/products/coque-iphone-11-pro-max-steam-engine-d10912 When the Overwatch League launched in January 2018, the monthly audience for e sports was already 167 million, larger than either the NHL’s or MLB’s, and by 2022, it’s expected to reach 276 million, roughly equivalent to the monthly audience for the NFL.
4. Nevix: Twenty three year old Andreas Karlsson from Sweden. Dubbed the « Ironman » of Overwatch for his impressive gaming stamina. 5. Kariv: A 22 year old named YoungSeo Bak from South Korea. One the funniest, friendliest players in the game, and a long time pal and teammate of Agilities. 6. Mangachu: A 23 year old named Liam Campbell from Oakville. While still under a player contract, he recently joined the team’s coaching staff
Overwatch was calibrated for maximum expansion and inclusivity. It’s a first person shooter, yes, but largely free of the blood and machismo associated with the genre. Its heroes are racially diverse and roughly half are women. It also has an intricate and extensive backstory, which Blizzard captured in dozens of animated shorts and comics, all available on the game’s website. That backstory Frankensteins together a number of dystopian pop culture references, from Planet of the Apes to Watchmen. The cast of characters, or heroes coque iphone 5 there are 32 playable ones is eclectic: there’s the scientist Winston, a genetically enhanced super gorilla; McCree, a bounty hunter and gunslinger out of Santa Fe; Tracer, a British time jumping adventurer, one of two LGBTQ characters in the game; and Symmetra, an autistic « architech » whose weaponry includes a photon projector and a teleporter.
Each hero has a number of unique abilities, as well as specific weaponry. But you do not play alone your hero is part of a six person team that fights another six person team. Each hero, however, is strong against some heroes and weak against others. So, in a six on six game, just as in most traditional sports, team composition is important. One mistake, from the wrong combination of heroes to a hero not pulling his or her weight, can cost you the match. The battles unfold across 28 maps, which depict places both real (Havana, Hollywood) and fictional (Horizon Lunar Colony, Blizzard World).
Overwatch’s most salient characteristic is this emphasis on team play, and strategies, both offensive and defensive, are based on how each h et m coque iphone 8 team is composed. But this works on two levels there are the heroes that each player chooses to play in a game, along with their corresponding abilities and weapons, and there are the players themselves, with their own personalities and skill sets. Putting together a successful team requires finding people who mesh, and communicate, extremely well.
7. Agilities: Twenty year old Brady Girardi from Lethbridge. He became one of Overwatch’s top North American players coque iphone 6 s plus portugal at the age of 17. 8. Beast: A 19 year old named Adam Denton from Atlanta. He got his pro start with Philadelphia Fusion’s academy team, leading them to five titles. 9. He was most recently a support player on the Paris Eternal
Overwatch was an instant success, the fastest of Activision Blizzard’s titles to reach more than 30 million players. The league’s first championship finals event drew almost 11 million viewers, streaming simultaneously on Twitch, Major League Gaming and ESPN.
Chris Overholt watched all this with acute interest. The Toronto native had helped the Raptors secure their foothold in the Toronto market, rebranded the Leafs and launched the Air Canada coque iphone 4s puma Centre. In 2003, he decamped for Florida and the NFL, taking charge of marketing for the Panthers and, later, doing the same for the Miami Dolphins. He returned home just after the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, becoming CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee, charged with making Canadians care about the Games in non Olympic years. He stayed for eight years.
Overholt was proud of the work he had done, thrilled that he’d helped to establish young organizations like the Raptors and reinvigorate older ones like the Canadian Olympic Committee. But he could see that sport was changing. Or, more specifically, the way sport works as entertainment and how we consume that entertainment. « There’s a whole generation, » Overholt says, « the Gen Zs, or that crossover Gen Z millennial generation, that is not interested in a three hour viewing experience on a cable television network unless it’s a special sports moment or playoffs. They’re on multiple screens at the same time they’re watching e sports but they’re also on TikTok and Twitter, chatting online. »
But rather than try to lure kids back by tweaking traditional sports, Overholt instead went to where the kids were. In late 2016, he visited Activision Blizzard executives at Blizzard’s headquarters in Irvine, California. The company is considered the Apple of the gaming industry, and Overholt was dazzled givenchy coque iphone 7 by what he calls the « artisanal » quality of their products. https://www.alpesprobois.fr/products/coque-samsung-galaxy-j5-scania-709pascher7135 « They had a great reputation for what the community calls ‘polishing,’ » he says, « the detail in how they build the heroes, the lore behind the games. Blizzard is perhaps the best in the industry at doing that. » When Activision Blizzard decided to expand, offering slots in OWL to eight new cities, including Paris, Vancouver and Toronto, as well as launching a separate Call of Dutyleague, also with a Toronto team, Overholt was ready to become part of it. In the spring of 2018, he got a call from an old friend, the Toronto tech entrepreneur Sheldon Pollack. Over the years, Pollack had invested in several e sports organizations. Now he was teaming up with venture capitalist Adam Adamou and Michael Kimel (co owner of the Chase Hospitality Group, restaurants like Planta and Arthur’s, and minority owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins) to acquire the Toronto OWL franchise. He wanted Overholt to become CEO of OverActive Media, the company they were forming. It would mean building a franchise from scratch, in a business he was only just familiar with, with teams playing games he barely understood. But he had already made himself part of sport’s history; now he could help define changer coque iphone 7 its future. He said yes.
Chris Overholt was involved in traditional sports the Raptors, Leafs, running the Canadian Olympic Committee before signing on as the CEO of the Defiant in 2018
There was a lot on the line, at least financially. coque iphone 6 rechargable Activision Blizzard saw a path in adhering to a tried and true traditional sports model, and coques personnalisees iphone 6 6s Overholt, with his background in that world, was a good fit.
He had to move quickly. He and his staff (a handful of whom were with him at the COC) had about six weeks to create a team name, identity and brand. They called the team the Defiant, a nod to what they considered Toronto’s scrappy, iconoclastic character. https://www.aquawood.fr/products/esr-coque-iphone-8-plus-710pascher6005 Overholt sent some of them to South Korea to Overwatch what Canada is to hockey and recruited a team entirely with the best Korean players they could afford. This was sort of a soft launch. When they moved toward a home and away match structure, OverActive completely rebuilt its roster so as to better appeal to hometown fans. Overholt put a 41 year old lifelong gamer named Marty Strenczewilk in charge of every player, coach, analyst and sports sciences person within the company’s ranks. In building the team, what was he looking for Mainly, a roster in which Toronto could see itself. That meant getting a few Canadians, but also going as diverse, and as relatable, as possible. « This isn’t about just winning games, right » Strenczewilk says. « We’re building an entertainment property here. » He started more or less at the top, poaching the head coach of the Paris Eternal, an even keeled 28 year old Frenchman named Flix « Ff » Mnch. With the Eternal, Mnch basically had to work with players he had been given, but the Defiant gave him an opportunity to mould the team in his image. « The most important thing to me was for players to be open minded, » he says, meaning that they would be receptive to strategic input from both coaching staff and teammates not always a guarantee in the gaming world. « And when I talked to them, I wanted to see if they were willing to sacrifice a little bit of themselves for the larger project. » This dovetailed well with another criterion Strenczewilk had for the prospective team: « No assholes. »
Long before they were restricted to their own apartments, coque iphone 7 eleven paris the Toronto Defiant currently three Canadians, one American, two South Koreans, a Belgian, a Swede and a Dane, all men aged 19 to 25, no assholes spent almost all their time in Liberty Village. They practised in a subterranean facility on Fraser Avenue that neighbours a yoga studio. Dimly lit, with a monochromatic colour palette, long rows of PCs and Herman Miller gaming chairs, and a communal dining area ringed with lockers, it might have been a particularly aspirational airport lounge business centre. Nearby, the teams and coaching staff all live in the same condo building, with players sharing two bedroom units. They practise six to eight hours a day, coque huawei mate and even given the shakeup to the season, will play 28 regular season games. https://www.aquawood.fr/products/coque-samsung-s8-plus-magnetique-709pascher13543 When they’re not working, they unwind, for the most part by playing other video games. Before the pandemic, when I asked a few players if they socialized outside of work, their answer was always the same they sometimes went out to eat together, usually for Korean barbecue. minimaliste coreen mode lune boucles doreilles pour femmes fille couleur or petites belles boucles doreilles vetements accessoires bijoux Before WFH became a popular acronym, OverActive maintained temporary offices across the street from the practice facility, in a co working space called the Fueling Station. just feel boho feuille goutte dangle boucles doreilles pour femmes couleur or geometrique metal (Overholt generally worked on a laptop at a shared table near the kitchen.)
This tightly circumscribed arrangement was OverActive’s attempt to make its players’ professional lives as uncomplicated as possible. But it was also an illustration of how narrowly focused the pro gamer’s world can be. Video games invite obsession. They are designed to keep players in their chairs or on their couches in ways that traditional sports obviously do not. https://www.aquawood.fr/products/coque-custodia-cover-fundas-iphone-11-pro-max-5-6-7-8-plus-x-xs-xr-se2020-c15248-corona-beer-3-iphone-xs-max-case You don’t need to leave your home to play. Running can become addictive, and I’ve played many a game of soccer or basketball where, in the proverbial zone, time and thought and fatigue seem to vanish. But muscles and cardiovascular systems have limits. Even at a competitive level, you’re not going to play a traditional sport for more than a few hours a day. Gamers, meanwhile, can play their games for days on end, with minimal breaks. That said, there are no ageless wonders like Vince Carter in OWL. As players approach 30, reflexes slow, hand eye co ordination dulls, and players quickly age out.
The average age of the Defiant players is 22. When assembled, the team looks like a coque iphone 6s adidas fille particularly large boy band, indifferent to sunlight, exceptionally enthusiastic about leisure wear, obsessed with their phones. Surefour is the Defiant’s oldest player, and he arrived in Toronto already a superstar. Born in Calgary, he’s been playing video games more or less his whole life. His parents divorced when he was young, and his father left for Mississippi, where he managed warehouses for his brother’s salvage business. https://www.alpesprobois.fr/products/coque-iphone-7-etanche-eau-710pascher2183 Surefour was studying electronics engineering technology at the University of Mississippi when a friend turned him on to Overwatch, telling him that it was going to be the next big e sport. There was lots he liked about it it was a well polished FPS, made by a reputable company, and it was made for PC, as opposed to a console game, which are generally inferior in terms of responsiveness. collier femme marque 3collierfrance788 He appreciated its diversity and inclusivity. Ultimately, though, Overwatch simply appealed to his competitive instincts. « I just play it because I like being better than other people, » he told me. Gladiators, he was one of OWL’s all stars if not the league’s LeBron, then maybe its Anthony Davis. https://www.alpesprobois.fr/products/coque-samsung-s8-fee-clochette-709pascher12847 He threw the first pitch out at a Dodgers game; his jersey was the third highest selling in the league. On his Twitch stream, Surefour is known for being chill and friendly, but also for speaking his mind. In person, he is droll, guarded and vaguely imperious. « I’m a blunt person, » he says, bluntly.
For all their solitude, introspection, as I found with all the Defiant players I spoke to, is not a prized skill. Or coque iphone 6s armenie maybe just introspection performed for a middle aged noob asking questions. Part of it, also, might have been the fact that professional gamers, like any other athletes, are extraordinarily focused. When Surefour took a break from practice, he didn’t get up and stretch his legs or rest his eyes; instead, he toggled to another screen on his PC and played Osu!, a reflex sharpening game in which you click on proliferating circles in time to a musical beat. Because the professional life of a gamer is brief, they have to maximize their time, and their winnings, in a hurry. (For owners, this is a boon. « Physiologically, you’re just going the wrong way by the time you’re 24, » Overholt told me.