The Brewers lost center fielder

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The Brewers lost center fielder

Odeslatod elaine95 v Pon 10. Čer 2019 8:35:47

In the soundstage where Johnny Carson and Jay Leno spent four decades filming ”The Tonight Show Nate Davis Jersey ,” a former Washington State computer science student named Seagull is pursuing a South Korean teenager with a very big gun.

Their characters’ exploits inside Overwatch, the wildly popular multiplayer game not yet 2 years old, flicker above their heads on an enormous high-definition screen. Hundreds of mostly millennial fans in the renamed, sold-out Blizzard Arena put down their Doritos and roar for the combat between these six-player teams, eventually rising in ecstasy when the Dallas Fuel earn an unexpected point against the powerhouse Seoul Dynasty.

Here’s the new Johnny. He plays video games for a minimum $50,000 salary, health benefits, a retirement savings plan and a chunk of $3.5 million in prize money.

Esports history was made Wednesday night with the debut of the Overwatch League, the first attempt to present elite computer gaming within a traditional North American sports structure comparable to the NBA or NFL. The league’s 12 franchises represent cities from Shanghai to London, and they build teamwork and stress player development while competing on a weekly schedule stretching into summer.

If the esports industry is still in its adolescence, this well-funded venture is a significant milestone in its maturation. The Overwatch League is about to find out whether fans will grow along with it.

”It’s a new frontier,” said Ari Segal, the president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Valiant. ”It is the biggest, boldest bet in sports and entertainment maybe since the NFL and AFL merged. Maybe since baseball introduced the designated hitter. I don’t even know what it stacks up against, because it is so different.”

Segal had a career as a hockey executive before he moved into esports last year. He is one of many seasoned professionals from traditional sports and business who couldn’t resist the opportunity to shape the future of professional gaming, which has expanded with all the cohesion of a pipe bomb.

Shortly after Blizzard Entertainment published this hero-based, first-person PC shooter to acclaim in 2016, the game developer announced plans for a league backed by deep-pocketed investors ranging from NFL owners Stan Kroenke and Robert Kraft to current giants of the esports scene.

They might not all know their way around a mouse, but they know a growing industry when they see it.

”I come from traditional sports, and from the outside, it seemed like esports had grown up as this exciting, massive, organic, somewhat unstructured ecosystem that benefited from that fact Tytus Howard Jersey , but was also held back by it,” said Pete Vlastelica, the president and CEO of Major League Gaming, which operates the league for Blizzard’s parent company.

”It felt to me a lot like boxing,” added Vlastelica, a former executive at Fox Sports. ”Anybody can create a circuit. Anybody be a trainer. Anybody can sign a fighter. Anybody can win a belt. But what’s the belt? I think boxing suffers from an ambiguity about whether any particular competition means anything, and it felt like that was really similar in esports.”

The Overwatch League aims to end that ambiguity with traditional sports touchstones, and it made sense to the luminaries from sports, tech and business who dominate the list of investors.

Kroenke, the billionaire owner of Arsenal and the Los Angeles Rams, also owns the Los Angeles Gladiators, who plan to be based within the vast entertainment complex around his Inglewood football stadium after it is completed in 2020. The Boston Uprising are owned by Kraft’s investment group, and they might end up based in Foxborough, Massachusetts, to share some training facilities with the New England Patriots.

The San Francisco Shock’s investor group includes Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal and Marshawn Lynch. The Philadelphia Fusion are owned by Comcast Spectacor, and the New York Excelsior are the property of a venture capital fund sponsored by the Wilpon family of New York Mets fame.

Many of the Overwatch League’s owners might not be gamers, but they understand the visceral importance of going to a good event. League commissioner Nate Nanzer is confident it will eventually harness income from ticket sales and concessions and other areas that haven’t meant much in esports so far.

”Why do people go to a Dodger game? You go because it’s more fun to sit with 40,000 other fans and cheer for a home run than it is to do it at home,” Nanzer said. ”Video games are so incredibly mainstream right now. It’s such a big part of our fans’ lives. When people play Overwatch, they play a lot of Overwatch. It’s a special moment to go share that with people who have the same passion as you.”

Although the geographical specificity of the teams is an important part of their future business plans, those home cities are largely theoretical at this point.

For this season and the near future, every team will live in the Los Angeles area and play all its matches in Burbank. Nanzer said the logistics of staging the competition around the globe were too enormous to be solved immediately.

That’s not the only geographical dissonance: The Overwatch League’s only ”European” team, the London Spitfire Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey , are owned by an American esports organization, and their roster consists entirely of South Korean players living in Los Angeles.

But the Overwatch League has bought itself time to find its footing. The league has sponsorship deals with blue chip companies including HP and Intel, and the Dallas Fuel wear jersey s

Sooner or later, the Cincinnati Reds will get the message: Be careful pitching to Eric Thames.

Reds right-hander Sal Romano, who opposes Thames and the first-place Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Great American Ball Park, already knows the dangers of making a mistake to the power hitter who torments Cincinnati like no other.

Thames beat Romano and the Brewers 2-0 with a two-run home run on April 17. Not satisfied with that, Thames beat the Reds — and this time, Tyler Mahle — with yet another two-run home run in a 2-0 decision the very next day on April 18.

Flash forward to Thursday night, and the Reds — the NL’s hottest team coming in with nine wins in 10 games — are leading 4-2 with two out and two on in the seventh inning. Amir Garrett, especially tough on left-handed hitters, is on the mound. Yet Garrett gave Thames a too-good pitch to hit, and the result was a decisive three-run home run, and the Brewers went on to win 6-4.

“That was a huge hit,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We were down two (runs) there and Garrett’s been really good. It was a good win. We had a lot of guys do a lot. We had big at-bats in big situations.”

Jesus Aguilar added a tying two-run homer, his 19th, off Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani in the third inning after Cincinnati had gone ahead 2-0 in the first.

For Thames, it was his third consecutive game against Cincinnati with a game-winning homer and it also was his 13th homer, to go with 24 RBIs, in only 20 career games against the NL Central rival Reds. The three homers represent his only three hits against the Reds this season; overall, he’s hit only .234.

Thames hadn’t homered off a left-hander all season, although he had only 13 prior at-bats against lefties. However, he has handled Garrett, homering off him the last three times he’s faced him.

His numbers against the Reds the last two seasons are remarkable: 13 homers, including 10 homers and 17 RBIs in 17 games last season.

“Thames has really done damage against us Ugo Amadi Jersey , last year and this year,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “We don’t have an answer for him. He’s really hurt us.”

As have the Brewers. They came in with six losses in their previous 10 games, but they’re off to a good start in the four-game series, especially given that the Reds had won 12 of their previous 15 despite being in last place. Milwaukee has won six of seven from Cincinnati this season.

The Reds not only haven’t solved how to beat the Brewers, neither has Romano (4-7). He’s pitched well in two of his last three starts overall, but he’s 0-4 with a 6.27 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers. Ryan Braun gives him trouble, going 5-of-10 (.500) with one homer against him.

The Brewers, who lead the Chicago Cubs by 2 1-2 games in the NL Central, will send out right-hander Chase Anderson (5-6), who has had success against the Reds. He’s 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA against them in eight starts, beating them 7-6 on May 1 despite giving up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

One reason for that success is Anderson’s ability to shut down some of the Reds’ top hitters. Eugenio Suarez, who leads the NL with 59 RBIs, is only 2-for-13 (.154) against him, and Scooter Gennett, who leads the league with a .331 average, is 2-for-7 (.286).

The Brewers lost center fielder Christian Yelich to lower back tightness in the first inning Thursday, and it’s been a problem he’s had in the past. His status for Friday and the rest of the series is uncertain.

“It looks like this one is not as bad,” said Yelich, who is hitting .289. “It’s frustrating. We’ll know more in a day or so. Hopefully, we can take care of it.”
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