PLUGGED IN

ESPN enters the world of esports

Houston Outlaws Logo

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Well it's finally happened, the big dog has stepped into the ring. Esports just picked up probably the most important ally any sport could ever ask for, ESPN. While they had been broadcasting buddies with several leagues of varying size and games, such as The Overwatch League, they are now going to begin hosting their own events. Beginning with Apex Legends at the ESPYs in July, the network will begin hosting invitationals and events at most of their major live events and galas. The reality of all of this is that now ESPN is moving from broadcast partner to actual organizer and event holder which means they're upping their level of commitment and involvement in terms of resources and talent and money and screen time, all of which is only going to help the sport as a whole grow.

The Houston Outlaws return to action this week as The Overwatch League comes back for Stage Three of this season. Their first game is tomorrow at about 9:30 central time on Twitch, ESPN online and the various websites and such. It's unfortunate to note overall that the ownership change still hasn't occurred and that there were no significant changes to the coaching staff or roster, as overall the team has been underperforming steadily for a little while. The desired outcome for this program is to return to the winning ways they had in Stage 1 of the first season of OWL when they were in first place and had momentum going in their favor. Since then it's been a very difficult path for this team with disappointment after disappointment stacking up. They obviously finished the first season out of the playoffs and this season they look to be quickly falling towards mathematical elimination, from that point it's hard to see what can be done in the short term to improve this team without the commitment of resources and support that the other teams all seem to be getting. Where can this team go? Overall I'd like to say the only real direction is up but that feels unlikely as both completed stages of this season have been devastatingly underwhelming in both preparation and performance. This is a team that feels like it's going to keep going in the wrong direction until a real change occurs in a leadership position.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.
BLIZZARD PROMOTIONAL IMAGE

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

One of the first news stories of the day is the announcement of the first female African American CEO in esports as Peak6 Investments bought the independent team Evil Geniuses. Evil Geniuses has a long tradition in the esports community and also it's history is one that is shared by many esports teams in this growing arena with several ownership changes over the years. It was initially sold to Twitch as part of its gaming group but that dissolved and eventually EG wound up on its own but all the while maintained a strong footing in the gaming world especially in the league of legends style DOTA2. Peak6 is an investment firm that specializes in tech but has also crossed into traditional sports numerous times and reality is for them this is simply the next realm of investing. Peak6 has named Nicole Jameson as the CEO and tasked her with growing the brand and also with handling the day to day operations of the esports organization.

The lawsuit filed by TFue against Faze sports just got even uglier. In the lawsuit which basically boils down to unfair contracts, TFue alleges he signed initially with the team when he was under 13 years of age which is the minimum for all of these agencies and groups that gaming goes through. You can't be an affiliate Twitch streamer, you can't be a youtuber, you can't be in the fortnite events if you aren't at least 13. Well Faze disputed those claims obviously, except now it's come out that an active player on the Faze roster is only 12 years old themselves and have been with the team for over a year, making them at best 11 when they signed with the team and the family was encouraged by Faze to lie about the kid's age to be able to compete in the events. He's already won over $5k in Fortnite events that he shouldn't have even be eligible to enter, what's the penalty for knowingly playing ineligible players? In college sports it's at the least vacating wins and potentially the death penalty for a program, so what's esports options?

The idea of recruiting children and having them lie to boost their eligibility isn't a good sign for an organization being a trustworthy and fair bunch. Overall this is the kind of thing that esports overall need to avoid, it's a bad look and suddenly the focus becomes on exploited children and not on the competition of the leagues. Overwatch League requires you to be at least 18 to compete and that's a reasonable standard, but having such a low age as the barrier for entry isn't a great look overall, it's reminiscent of women's gymnastics and how often nations accuse other nations of using girls that are too young to compete and it gets messy very quickly.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio or support our Patreon Page. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome