e-Sports from the Basement to Madison Square Garden

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Credit: Riot Games

When I was 4 I played my first video game. I don’t remember what game it was but i do remember the joy. Video games were such a fantastical concept to me at that very young age. I was instantly hooked. Video games were what I spent all my free time on. Always striving to become better at them, trying to clear a level a little faster or score just a little higher on the leader-boards. I loved the feeling of building improvement and competition between me and my friends. Still to this day i spend most of my spare hours playing video games. Today it the reason I play isn’t much different I find it fun and I love the competition. Some things have changed since then like how much I get to play them and who I can play them with. However, the biggest change that I have seen growing up the past 15 years with video games is the massive cultural shift around them. I remember when I was 9 wishing that I could just play video games forever and even make a job out of it “that would be the dream” is what I thought to myself. I naturally was then taken aback by the creation of the Major League Gaming Pro-Circuit for Halo 3.  It was then in 2008 that I had become aware of what e-sports were. I found the concept so amazing getting the best players in the world and having them compete for money and prizes. It was a wondrous thought to me as a kid that if I got really good at Halo I might be able to compete and win the massive prize pool in my mind of $500. I could have never conceived then how big competitive gaming would become and how large e-sports would grow to be.

The Building Blocks

E-sports are still quite new to the world. With the first real competitions that were beyond just a few people in a town with a mock bracket, only barely predating me and I’m only a few months shy of 20. The early years of e-sports has a fragmented history of scattered events and tournaments whose presentation and format are hard to watch and resemble more of a bad 80’s sitcom than that of a serious competition that could be called a “professional sport”. There was one exception and that was in the nation of South Korea where in 2000 the T.V. station OGN was established that broadcast matches and tournaments of various games with the main game being Starcraft: Brood War a game that had seized the culture of South Korea.  South Korea is where most of early e-sports were developed and it would take a few years until e-sports would take off in the U.S. and Europe. In order for e-sports to start building outside of the super tech focused and interconnected South Korea we would have to wait for the technology to advance and for the age of Social Media to begin.

The First Real League

The next big event for the dawn of e-sports is the founding of Major League Gaming in 2002. An attempt by a group of games media persons to found an MLB style league for video games. The founding of this organization was the beginning of some of the first professional teams in e-sports as now that there was money to be made by players semi consistently some could afford to try to make a career of it. However despite the attempts of MLG to become a definitive league where people could go “pro” in video games they struggled to find success or a solid platform on which to provide the matches to the masses. That is when YouTube came along which aided in getting the MLG branding and matches out to the scattered audiences of gamers across the U.S. and Europe. Consolidating the decently sized but greatly scattered potential audience. This created a burst of growth in MLG to the point that in 2008 the secured $10 million in funding from an investment group to expand operations. They quickly spent the money to expand their leagues into every game they could. At its height in 2009 MLG was host to the largest Call of Duty, Starcraft, and Halo tournaments in the same year. However, MLG was not set to stay king and was soon destined for a total collapse as the players were about to become far more popular then the organization and the players were about to build not only a better leagues but games designed to be played competitively.

Personality Begets Popularity

It was 2010 and Social Media has become staggeringly prolific and internet personalities were going from mere jokes to total celebrities in their own right. This boom in personality developing large fan bases was about to help e-sports spring into the future. It was around this time the most anticipated competitive game of the decade was about to be released. The sequel to Starcraft, simply titled Starcraft 2  created a groundswell of hype in the gaming community as it had been in development for nearly a decade. Leading up to its release Blizzard Entertainment the company who made Starcraft had the idea to begin a new type of ad campaign. The gaming community was one of the biggest groups that flocked to YouTube not to long after its release  and it was filled with videos from players amateur to seasoned veterans.  Blizzard Entertainment got the idea to sponsor and pay pro Starcraft players to play Starcraft 2 on their YouTube channels giving them early access to the game which drove massive traffic to them as they provided a limited glimpse of gameplay of the new game that was available. This greatly boosted popularity for the game and not only the game but the players as well for a good deal of them were quite personable and entertaining. These personalities created a new wave of popularity for e-sports as people where attracted by the entertaining personalities that started to dominate the scene.

One of such videos by Day9 a large at the time e-sports content creator

The Advent of Twitch

twitch_474x356It was a natural progression of format for the media. The live-streaming service of Twitch.tv launched in 2011 to serve as a platform for gamers to stream games from the comfort of their own homes. This platform allowed the every man to now to do something that they previously had to rely on a large organization such as MLG to do and that was to reach a large audience live allowing them to now host tournaments of their own in formats they enjoyed far more than the slow to change formats of MLG. The service also allowed the games that were more popular to gain a larger share of screen time and gave a much larger amount of content for people who only liked one particular game. The biggest game to come out of the Twitch boom was League of Legends a game built around and solely for competitive multiplayer. It was a 5v5 team game with the objective of destroying the enemy Nexus before the can destroy yours. It allowed both for team skill and individual mechanical skill to shine.

League the Juggernaut

Today League of Legends is the most played game in the world and brings in nearly $1.6 billion a year in income for the company Riot Games.  It is the most watched e-sport with the world finals last year garnering 57.6 million unique viewers. It has sold out massive stadiums around the world from the Staples Center to Madison Square Garden. Just this year the North American League has franchised itself and has attracted multi-million investments from Disney to the Golden State Warriors. It is a juggernaut in the scene and stands to a testament to how fast e-sports has grown. Here are some numbers for international events in League of Legends from Riot themselves.

For a overall better recap of history watch this video made by Score e-sports.

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Did Rick Nash Just Win The Bruins A Cup?

Maybe! After five years of saying we are gonna get Rick Nash, and then never getting Rick Nash, the Bruins finally got him. The 33-year-old winger was traded to the Boston Bruins from the New York Rangers, in exchange for three Bruins players including; Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, and prospect Ryan Lindgren. Along with the 3 players the Bruins also dished out a 2018 first round pick and a 2019 seventh round pick. This may seem like a lot but after years of holding onto these prospects it is nice to see them used to get such a dynamic player.

The Bruins are 2nd in the Atlantic division behind the red-hot Tampa Bay Lighting, who also made a big move at the trade deadline trading for New York Rangers captain, defenseman Ryan Mcdonagh

After losing in the first round of the playoffs last year, the Bruins front office seems to be doing everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Getting Rick Nash is President Cam Neely and general manager Don Sweeney’s best move yet when it comes to getting the Bruins closer to the cup.

While the first line of the Bruins is hot as heck. Rick Nash will fit nicely on the second line with long time Bruins center, David Krechi. Krechi hasn’t been seeing his usual amount ice time this season, so being able to play with a guy like Nash on the wing is hopefully gonna help Krechi find his game.

Personally I think this is a great move by the Bruins front office. I mean finally these guys are trying to win a cup, after making me watch a few really painful seasons with some really painful endings.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize The NHL has become a skill ONLY league. It has always been a skilled league, but you used to have a few guys on every team who were just there to take names and bash brains, but that doesn’t happen anymore. If you don’t have the skill you aren’t gonna be playing. Adding Nash might make the Boston Bruins the most skilled team in the NHL. Oh and don’t forget they have a Tukka Rask, who is battling for a Vesina trophy (the NHL MVP award for goalies). 

Twitter wasn’t as excited as I was about the trade though. Many tweets included shots at Nash’s age. Conor McKenna of TSN tweeted out this. Tweets like that were easy to find after the trade, but that is fine. They can tweet what ever they want. Maybe Rick Nash is a little old, but he is a damn good player, and the Bruins aren’t looking for him to be the first star every game they just need him to make an impact, which he will be able to do, I promise!

 

Fitness & Working Out

Fitness and working out is an important aspect in life. Fitness can be anything that you do or a sport you do that relates to physical exercise. I believe that fitness can help you become healthier and live longer. However, there are a lot more to choosing fitness as a lifestyle. Fitness includes working out on a daily basis or to a minimum couple times a week. It may be very tough to fit in fitness as a lifestyle. There are 24 hours in a day and 1 hour of fitness per day is more than ideal. If someone decides to use less time, the workout could be more vigorous. There are many benefits of fitness such as decreasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, building cardiovascular, building strength, endurance, and prevent any other common health issues. Fitness and working out could help stress and depression.

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Being able to keep up with a fitness lifestyle includes keeping up with a healthy lifestyle as well. Being able to eat and diet correctly will promote a healthier body. Taking the right vitamins and supplements can also enhance healthy being, but too much can also be bad. Choosing the right food in everyday life can lower many different risks of diseases and illnesses. Results are better when you choose to tie both of these concepts into your lifestyle. Another important aspect to help this process is sleep. Getting adequate amount of sleep can help recovery and the brain. The brain needs a good amount of sleep to help you cognitively function properly.

Not everyone decides to consider fitness a part of their life. Trying it out and attempting to learn more as you go can change you. Being able to take action and start earlier is better than later. Doing it more often can lead to yourself challenging yourself and willing to learn more throughout your fitness journey. Now are you willing to change for the better?

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https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/10-hacks-to-make-your-salads-more-filling.html

Tony Gentilcore

Overview:

http://tonygentilcore.com Is a fitness and lifestyle blog written by Tony Gentilcore. Tony is a co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance. When he’s not training people at his studio he’s also contributing to the top fitness magazines and websites around the world.

Analysis:

The layout of the blog is pretty simple. There is a header with a  very catchy phrase “Because heavy things don’t lift themselves”. A footer explaining all about the author Tony Gentilcore. The top of the blog starts off in a dark sepia like filter.

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At the top of the blog we can see multiple different links. Here you can navigate your way to blog, products, articles, miscellany, resources, contact, or core online. Moving down the webpage we can see a spot to enter your email to stay connected to the blog. Just below this there’s a black bar mentioning all the places that this blog as been featured in. Esteemed places such as Men’s and Women’s Health, and Bodybuilding.com.

Moving towards the bottom of the blog there is a “latest from Tony’s blog” section. This features his 5 most recent blog posts. Just below this at the very bottom of the home page there is a small section explaining a little bit about the author Tony.

Content:

There’s no quick link to see the most popular blogs on this site. But by clicking the “blog” button at the top menu we can see the most recent blog posts. The top 5 most recent blogs as of 01/08/18 are,

The last of these posts “Business advice for trainers from trainers” I found the most interesting. Tony talks about how he had very little competence and didn’t know what a company “overhead was”. He goes into detail talking about how he traded a lot of time for a little bit of money. Obviously, this worked out in the end for him though. He’s now a prominent blogger and business owner.

Alot of his posts contain pictures that keep the readers interested. Here we can see one from the article I was just speaking about,

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This image wasn’t created by the blogger himself. But it’s a quote from a movie that I can relate to. Honestly, I’m not sure what advice I could offer Tony as a blogger. His whole website seems to mesh very well. His posts are relevant and keep me wanting to read. The only part of his blog I didn’t like was the big portion dedicated to entering your email address. This felt more like it was a scam than anything. But obviously, he just wants subscribers to his blog. He’s not really looking for money. Tony often also links other bloggers in his posts. He likes to provide a link to trainers; to provide further content for the visitors of his blog. Tony also has a very active blogging community that follows him. I couldn’t find a single post that didn’t have atleast 2 comments on it. Also, almost all of them were positive.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Tony has a very polished blog on his hand. He provides a very diverse amount of blog information ranging from lifestyle advice to how you can get a killer workout. As a 20 something college student I found this blog very relatable. It’s easy to navigate and even easier to read the blog posts. He provides plenty of links and references as well. Overall, I would definitely recommend this blog to anyone that wants to learn fitness and life advice from someone with plenty of experience.

 

Baseball’s Beauty

 

The art within the sport is what makes Baseball so great. Each pitch needing a specific location, and the fact that one has to square up a sphere with a cylinder. There’s an old saying that makes Baseball the greatest sport in the world.

 

As Earl Weaver said, “You can’t just sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.”

I whole-heartedly believe in this quote. When you think about it, this is what makes Baseball so beautiful. It suggests a new definition of competition. It is the only sport where you have to give the other man a chance and give the other team the exact opportunities that your team gets. It is the only sport where someone can statistically fail and still make it to the Hall of Fame. The beauty of team, and how it cannot be one player who dominated like in basketball or football. You cannot allow one person to hit every time or one person to pitch every game. It is the most individual team sport that there is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LYWS5wvt5g

Another part of this beauty is how much that human error can change the outcome of a game. One dropped fly ball can win or lose you a game depending on the situation. Something as little as a pebble on the infield dirt can cause a devastating game 7 loss. Professional Baseball has 162 games. This can show how good a team really is because just about every player on a 40-man roster ends up playing by the end of the season. It doesn’t matter how good the starting nine is.

There are a lot of people who think baseball is dull and too drawn out. But it is the most strategic of all games. It’s like chess with a piece of wood and a ball. It’s an art – and a beautiful one.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/356024-the-beauty-of-baseball

Teeing Off: Getting into the Swing of Golf

How does someone suddenly become interested in golf, largely considered one of the most boring sports in the world, after playing intense contact sports for years? The day I graduated high school was also the day I retired from competitive sports. Having played since I was the ripe age of 4, at 18, I was suddenly at a loss. Sure I could play intramurals once I got to college, but it wouldn’t be as serious, it would just be for fun. I sought a challenge, a means to focus my energies from outside distractions and relieve stress. That’s when I really found golf.

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My dad had been playing for a while, going with his friends a couple times a year. He had showed me a couple tips here and there but I never really had the time to be fully committed to learning a new sport.

While many people may find golf to be quite boring to watch, I find that looking into the complexities and the high level of skill and technique required to not only hit the ball the perfect distance, but also at the right angle is impressive. Now I am nowhere near “good”, believe me, but I enjoy every time I learn something new or get to practice my skills.

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Golf is not only an interesting hobby and sport, but the very nature of it promotes critical thinking and a way to socialize. Whether you play 9 or 18 holes or other fun variations of it such as TopGolf and virtual simulations, golf is an activity where you can spend quality time with others, relieve some stress, and challenge your body and mind. There are always things you can work on to get better, and it gets people outdoors and keeps you active. You can’t beat spending quality time with great people, doing something fun in the beautiful outdoors. So, if you haven’t yet, you should take a look into trying golf!