eSports, the increasingly popular and organized video game competitions, are re-vamping the way we think about both video games and sports. Software Engineers Chris and Coleman took us through the world of eSports and their experience as both part of the DRW team and as individual gamers.
I’ve been playing video games since before I can remember, starting with the original Nintendo. This led me to PC gaming, where I have started to compete in tournaments. Although I started my eSports experience with StarCraft II, today I almost exclusively play Rocket League.
eSports have exploded over the past several years, with teams facing each other in different games around the world. Because these tournaments can be played from anywhere in world, our DRW team meets up online to practice and all our practices are done using scrimmages. Tournaments start off as one big bracket and gradually get smaller as teams are eliminated.
Our DRW team is small – our team members switch on and off for different tournaments. We play about one match a week, with matches ranging from one hour to three hours for larger tournaments with stronger competition. But one of the most interesting things about eSports is the huge range of tournaments that can make even small teams like DRW feel accomplished.
There are definitely similarities between eSports and our work at DRW, especially for traders. These games and competitions require quick thinking and reflexes. In order to be successful, you must be able to think on your feet and quickly adapt to different situations. That’s similar to what we do at DRW – we practice and develop our strategies to make the best decisions possible.
We play in a league called the Corporate eSports Association, (previously known as the After-Hours Gaming League). I discovered the AFGL when I was playing Starcraft 2, and I thought it was a more accessible way for people with full time jobs to participate in eSports. I joined a Starcraft 2 team with a few other people from the office in 2013.
Today, the DRW team includes employees from all our offices across the globe. One of the best parts about the Corporate eSports Association is their charity focus. The funds raised from entry fees all go to a charity of the first-place team’s choosing. Our team benefits St. Jude’s Children’s hospital – a passion we all share is pediatric health and cancer research. Also, my wife – a pediatrician – recommended it!
We play a variety of eSports games on our team, recently expanding to include three teams playing simultaneously. This spring we had teams for Overwatch, Rocket League, and League of Legends. We made the playoffs for Overwatch this past fall, but despite an awesome 5-3 season in the spring, we missed the cut by 1 win. For anyone interested in getting a team of their own started, my recommendation for you would be to find a group of people who have similar interests and levels of experience in the games, and are also supportive.
The games we play require intense concentration and a strong sense of teamwork – each player always has a different role! Knowing how to play your role, use your unique skills and abilities, and communicate effectively are essential to winning each match – sounds pretty similar to our roles at DRW!
Personally, playing eSports has made me better at planning ahead, communicating goals, and executing my plans. As captain, I’ve become better at delegating tasks – a skill I really value. Most importantly, we care a lot about having an inclusive team, and are always trying to expand the team and recruit more players. I’ve also been able to build strong friendships with my eSports team – people who span across roles, teams, and offices at DRW.