NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Overwatch 2, Blizzard's China Problem and Extra Life

Nerds Around Town: Overwatch 2, Blizzard's China Problem and Extra Life
ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

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 and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

Tomorrow we'll shout out a new charity event, today we celebrate all of the hard work that went into Extra Life. Helping the Adventure Begins in Conroe earn over $7k for the cause was a true pleasure. In donations they raised around $3600 and then in hourly donations there was another estimated $3000 raised, it was a great and exhausting and trying time. 25 hours of streaming and working and gaming and hosting and entertaining, it was intense but totally worth it.

BLIZZARD

Blizzard announced/confirmed Overwatch 2 and released a trailer called "Zero Hour". As usual its cinematically awesome, all of the little videos they've released over the years have been amazing and there's no question they are the undisputed kings of great cinematics for their video games, however looming like a shadow over what should have been awesome news was China and the Hong Kong controversy.

THE CHINA STORY

So in a way all of this still starts with Daryl Morey's tweet about standing with Hong Kong. That tweet mired the NBA and its players in this awkward place where capitalism dictates they expand forever into more and more complicated markets but then American pride dictates that we crush people who bow down to the whims of a communist government that oppresses the freedoms of its people while cheaply making our iPhones and supporting our entertainment industry. The spotlight on American companies and the Chinese markets bled into everything including video games. There, a prominent eSports player FROM HONG KONG named Ng Wai Chung, was banned by Blizzard and had his prize money withheld at first for life than was shortened to a few months after fan backlash for speaking in support of the protests. There is a delicate balance to these things that has to be struck between all roads, here's a truth that nobody will like… Capitalism is both the root of this problem and the solution to it. Capitalism is what led these people to take China's money and it is the eventual all consuming greed that will rot away China's core beliefs eventually leading them to take a "money before all other things policy" like America has not so secretly come to adopt over the years. We know this to be true because we were once a nation of principles and beliefs about bigger things and now we just don't care about anything that doesn't affect our wallets directly.

ONE WEEK AWAY

We are now officially one week away from the release of Disney+. We are literally at the dawn of the NEXT big chapter in the streaming TV wars. It's confusing to think where it will all end, obviously Disney will keep acquiring things and Amazon's position feels secure considering the strength and size of the brand overall, so its just Netflix, HBO Max, CBS and the Peacock that will eventually have their fates decided. I think the thing that has hurt Netflix the most is that CBS' free sign up had millions of people signing up to watch their streaming exclusive Star Trek show. Those numbers were way over the estimates and left many people staring dumbfounded at their screens when NBC took that as a sign that a network exclusive service could survive alone. Moving NBC from cook to supplier so to speak. Netflix and HBO Max while kings of original content have to face the facts that they are standing alone as just essentially large content producers that haven't had to deal with much competition before. Now things are looking grim as a big dog steps in. Netflix is going to have to address their debt portfolio and find more revenue streams and things to partner with, perhaps merchandise and licensing deals for original projects, maybe reverse engineer the Disney concept the otherway. Otherwise they will eventually be eaten up by one of the true giants, they're publicly traded, they have shareholders who value a strong return, it is simply a matter of time and math.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my Father's unexpected passing. It's an odd day, one where I just tried to not think about what it meant for as long as possible. One where I just wondered what the hell happened to the last year. How is he? Is he looking down on us? Is he happy? Have we let him down? I just don't know how to feel sometimes, I love him and I miss him and I hate how much I feel like I let him down over the years. I hope he gets to see the things I'm working on now and that they make him proud.

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
How significant Astros spring training revelation highlights even more reasons for optimism

The Houston Astros had a very successful season in 2023 which led them back to the ALCS for the seventh-straight season, but despite another deep playoff run, their pitching did regress from the prior year.

While many would point to their historic bullpen in 2022 and say they had nowhere to go but down, that doesn't paint the full picture. It was the starting rotation that really fell off in 2023. Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, and Jose Urquidy all saw a spike in their ERAs from the previous season.

According to a recent report from The Athletic's Chandler Rome, we might have an explanation for Jose Urquidy's down year.

The Astros and Urquidy believe he was tipping his pitches. Which would explain why the slugging percentage against his fastball jumped from .482 in 2022 to .632 in 2023.

When hitters know a pitcher is tipping, they often start hunting fastballs. Also, his strikeout percentage went down last year and his walks went way up. He had 2 more walks per nine innings in 2023 than he had in 2021.

Part of that could be him aiming for corners and refusing to give in to hitters because his fastball wasn't performing up to expectations.

His WHIP in 2023 really jumped off the page as well. He finished with a WHIP over 1.4. While his career WHIP is 1.143. That's a huge difference.

Back to the big picture

Until last season, Urquidy never finished with an ERA over 3.95. He recorded a 5.29 ERA last year. So when we factor in his shoulder injury that cost him three months of the season, and the fact he was tipping pitches, we believe he's in store for a bounce-back season.

And the Astros are going to need him, especially with Justin Verlander and JP France possibly not being available for the start of the season.

What will the rotation look like early on?

The Astros haven't ruled Verlander out yet, so he could be ready to go. But if not, and we base this off what we saw last season. The rotation will likely include Valdez, Javier, Brown, Urquidy, Ronel Blanco, and Brandon Bielak.

Don't miss the video above for the full discussion!

Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) with Charlie Pallilo, Brandon Strange, and Josh Jordan every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.

We'll continue to drop videos throughout the week!


SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome