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elaine95



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MensajePublicado: Dom 30 Sep 2018 3:55 am    Ttulo del mensaje: it hard on him. T Responder citando

NEW YORK (AP) The Overwatch League has planted its flag atop the esports mountain. But just like its twitchy-thumbed superstars Anders Bjork Jersey , the premier circuit can’t afford to sit still.

Not as long as Fortnite commands the rest of the gaming universe.

The Fortnite phenomenon has put Overwatch in a strange position. The Overwatch League’s inaugural season has been a barrier-breaking achievement, but Blizzard Entertainment’s 6-on-6 first-person shooter isn’t nearly the world’s most popular video game. That would be Fortnite, a battle royale that has transcended gaming and smashed into the mainstream unlike any title in years. Overwatch executives say they aren’t nearly panicked because of one grand gamble: their deep pockets and impressive infrastructure can keep Fortnite from making a successful charge for the crown.

THE LEAGUE

A top-selling game doesn’t necessarily make an elite esport – the latter requires a professional circuit, loyal fans and a product that’s just as enjoyable to watch as to play.

The Overwatch League has set the standard for esports in its first season. Ten million fans watched its opening weekend, and 100-150 thousand tuned in for every second of the regular season. The league’s two-night championship sold out Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and the opening night aired live on ESPN, the network’s first live broadcast of esports in prime time. The league has a fierce and sizable stable of fans, big-name investors like New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the momentum of a monumental first season.

FORMIDABLE FORTNITE

Yet video gamers are clearly more ravenous for Fortnite. The breakout title from Epic Games has 125 million global players, compared to 40 million for Overwatch. Perhaps more jarring, Google searches for ”Fortnite” outpaced ”Overwatch” 14-to-1 in the week leading up to the Overwatch League Grand Finals.

Fortnite’s crossover appeal is unrivaled, a fact most recently on display when France’s Antoine Griezmann celebrated a goal in the World Cup Final with a dance move popularized by the game .

How could Overwatch not be terrified of a competitor with that kind of organic reach?

Simple: it doesn’t see Fortnite as competition – yet.

”Fortnite right now is 99 percent a game and not an esport,” said Ari Segal, president of Immortals Gaming William Nylander Jersey , which runs Overwatch’s Los Angeles Valiant. ”But I think obviously there’s a path for it to become an esport.”

The distinction is key. Structured, competitive Fortnite events are still in their infancy, and Epic has a ways to go to match the professional experience provided to Overwatch League fans. Epic began that effort by promising in May to offer $100 million in Fortnite esports prize pools – an enormous sum for the industry.

Yet early returns have been shaky, like when the Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series was cancelled mid-play due to technical issues. The tournament has also been hindered by conservative game play, with players waiting until the last possible moment to engage. In a statement, Epic said that it ”under delivered” in what was supposed to be its first marquee esports event while laying out plans to improve the viewing experience.

Epic did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

”It takes a lot more than a press release to build an esport,” Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer said. ”I think I can speak as well as most that there’s a ton of investment and planning and infrastructure that you need to build in order to do professional esports at a high quality bar.”

THE GRAND FINALS

Overwatch’s Grand Finals have been a showcase for that. All it takes is one look at the 165-foot-wide, 36-foot-tall LED screen behind the Barclays Center stage – players and fans alike have been in awe of the massive display this weekend.

But it runs deeper than flashy tech. The league’s broadcasts on Twitch have been nearly flawless technologically all season. Its teams have impressive support staffs including chefs, physical trainers and PR managers. Even the in-event entertainment is first-rate: DJ Khaled will perform at Saturday’s championship finale.

Which isn’t to say Overnight is a finished product. There’s work to be done packaging its events, especially for casual fans. Blizzard plans to experiment with its broadcast structure to better serve diehards and newbies alike. Those adjustments began with more explanatory segments on the ESPN show for uninitiated viewers, and the league will use feedback from that to shape coverage for next season.

”What I saw on Twitter was fun,” said Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. ”I liked seeing the healthy debate between the old-school Ryan Kesler Jersey , old-guard sports audience who wondered what they were watching and then a lot of young sports fans who were very excited by what they were seeing.”

Even as it experiments, everything about the league has the look and feel of a top-notch pro sports organization, and that’s been a matter of investment and expertise for Blizzard and its team owners – a group that includes Kraft, New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Esports organizations, like Segal’s Immortals, are keeping a close eye on Fortnite.

”Do you have the access to capital and the human resource capacity and the organizational bandwidth to be nimble and flexible to evaluate whatever that next thing is?” Segal asked. ”With respect to Fortnite, it’s an ongoing evaluation.”

BUILT TO LAST

At some point, it seems likely that Fortnite – or perhaps

WASHINGTON — The best-of-seven is now a best-of-three.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, unable to capitalize on the prosperity of winning the first two games on the road, travel to Washington for Saturday’s Game 5 matinee against the resurgent Capitals with the series tied — just as Alex Ovechkin predicted.

“Obviously, the next game is a real pivotal game,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz told NHL.com. “Someone’s going to take the lead in this series, and then your back’s against the wall. So we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go. But I think we have been since we got here Authentic David Pastrnak Jersey , and we’ve just got to do it at home.”

Washington evened the series Thursday night with a 4-1 win in the first series game that did not require overtime, and regained the home ice “advantage.”

“Maybe it gives us a little kick in the rear to know that we have a real good opportunity in front of us to go back there,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno told NHL.com. “Home ice hasn’t been too nice to each team. We’ll try to get one back.”

Ovechkin, who predicted Washington would tie the series with two wins in Columbus, scored his third goal of the playoffs Thursday night. Tom Wilson made it 1-0, T.J. Oshie joined Ovechkin with a second-period score and Evgeny Kuznetsov’s empty-netter sealed it.

Holtby — looking much more like the former Vezina Trophy winner than the goalie who stumbled through February and March — stopped 23 of 24 shots and evened his career playoff record at 31-31.

Washington has scored first in each of the four games, and on Thursday the Blue Jackets were never able to tie it as in the previous three.

“They’re a good forechecking team so obviously you’ve got to be good on their breakouts and get back, and help out in the (defensive) zone first,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom told the team’s website. “That was huge on our side.”

One reason for the comeback has been special teams. In the last two games, Washington is 2 of 7 on the power play and Columbus is 0 of 7.

Columbus, seeking the first playoff series win in franchise history, didn’t have long to dwell on Thursday night’s performance. Though it could be argued they have been outplayed to some extent in each game, Thursday was a washout.

“For some reason Phillip Danault Jersey , you could see it from the first shift right into our early power play,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella told NHL.com. “We looked nervous right on through. I don’t know why. It was just a struggle. That’s called a good old-fashioned laying an egg right on throughout the lineup. It was unexpected. It happened.”

Boone Jenner got Columbus within 3-1 at 6:22 of the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves.

The Blue Jackets have never allowed fewer than three goals in their 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 41 of 62 playoff games.

Foligno said Columbus needs to put more shots on Holtby and get more traffic in front of him.

“I don’t think we’ve tested him enough,” Foligno told The Columbus Disptach. “Really, I just don’t feel like we’ve shot enough pucks and made it hard on him. The saves he’s made, he’s gotten lucky on a couple that just hit him. You start peppering him and over time you’re going to break him down.”

Washington forward Andre Burakovsky, who suffered an upper-body injury in Game 2, will miss the rest of the series. He scored 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) during the regular season.

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