My life at DRW: The world of eSports
eSports, the increasingly popular organized video game competitions, are re-vamping the way we think about both video games and sports. Coleman, a web developer and Chris, a software engineer, 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 I could remember, starting with the original Nintendo. This led me to PC gaming, where over the past three years, I’ve 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 decade, 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 of our practice is done using scrimmages. Tournaments start off as one big bracket, and gradually get smaller as teams are eliminated.
Our DRW team is small, made up of six people who switch 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. You have to be able to think on your feet, and adapt to different situations to be successful. That’s similar to what we do at DRW – we practice and develop our strategies to make the best decisions possible.
The league we play in, the After Hours Gaming League (AHGL), was founded in 2011. I discovered it 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 of our offices across the globe. One of the best parts about AHGL 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 on our team, and each game requires intense concentration and a strong sense of teamwork. In Overwatch, the game I play now, each player 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 team eSports has made me better at planning ahead, communicating my goals, and executing my plans. As captain, I’ve become better at delegating tasks, a skill I really value. But 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.