The worlds of traditional sports and esports collide more and more with the passing of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced nearly every aspect of life online, including forms of entertainment. Traditional sports have struggled this year, but esports is no stranger to online competition. One of the world's most popular sports, football, has picked up again without audiences but is still being broadcasted.
Earlier this year, former Overwatch League commentator and now CS: GO caster, Auguste ‘Semmler’ Massonnat, traveled to the Blast Premier studios in London to give three football players a lesson in casting. Semmler has been commentating CS: GO since 2013, and has a deep knowledge of the game. In 2017, he left to cast the Overwatch League but returned home in 2020. He has years of experience and is a staple in the CS: GO esports scene. Casting CS: GO may seem uncomplicated at first, but there is a complexity to the Search & Destroy game mode.
Joining Semmler in the studio was midfielder Robert Snodgrass, defender Ryan Fredericks, and forward Andriy Yarmolenko. The players shared their experiences with competitive shooters and there was a common theme. While Robert Snodgrass admitted to getting in more than a few arguments, Ryan Fredericks opened up about a rap battle over a game of Call of Duty. Their time in the studio began with a brief lesson on the basics of Counter-Strike, and a rundown of what it takes to cast a game. In a makeshift classroom in front of the Blast Premier desk, Semmler broke down what to look for during a match. Everything from the players' names to what weapon they are using, and even how to make calls.
Andriy was the only player to have CS: GO experience but Robert Snodgrass seemed to have a heyday casting. Players were shown two clips, the first being Coldzera’s “Jumping Double AWP”, and the second was the infamous Happy Deagle ace. The takes were hot, Rambo references were made, and overall, the West Ham United players killed it. Casting esports is highly underappreciated, and something that takes a lot of skill and talent to do well. High energy levels and a general understanding of a game are necessary, but the true skill comes in defining your style.
This type of crossover content is beneficial to both esports and traditional sports given the state of the world. Most sports have a video game adaptation with a dedicated esports scene. The conjunction of esports and traditional sports is becoming more common with the rise of gaming this year. Not only are gamers becoming more active, but they want to be entertained. 2020 has been a tremendous year of growth for esports, and so far, it has garnered attention from unfamiliar audiences.
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