Born again glory hunter Lord Horatio here on a quest for Olympic gold. After years of fitness failings I have finally found a way to win through. Not for me the drudgery of diets, dawn runs in the rain or the spartan rigours of the gym.
Instead I now have the chance to bring home a medal from the comfort of my armchair thanks the rise of exciting new eSports. Admittedly I have had to up my digital game, but regularly raising a glass has helped improve my grip on things enormously.
As an old salt I was a dab hand at playing battleships, both the game and with the real things. Admittedly in those days we used old fashioned word processors, namely pencils and paper. However there are parallels. The modern cyber warrior also needs to be nimble of finger… and cunning too!
For the uninitiated eSports are booming. Basically crack teams of experts square up for contests involving video games like League of Legends and Call of Duty. It’s big business around the world and watched by millions. One young star nicknamed Faker from South Korea is only 21 and earning over £2m a year.
Even big football clubs are getting in on the act. The likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are recruiting top players of the virtual game Fifa and other eSports in the hope of cashing in on the next generation of fans. The global audience is already around the 300 million mark and pulling in the same figure when measured in pounds sterling.
Despite the obvious problem of addiction, one youngster died after playing non-stop without sleep and food, eSports is set to become part of the Asian Games in 2022. With such a global reach The International eSports Federation is confident teams will be taking part in the Olympics before very long.
With gold medal glory in mind I set about my training schedule with gusto. First came the equipment. Within days The Snug resembled the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. My comfy old armchair was surrounded by screens, keyboards and cables. The next step was learning the games. I mean how difficult could this League of Legends be?
The answer is – very! However, I soldiered on breaking only for a reviving brew, spot of lunch and brief stroll round the grounds. This was my undoing. Bleary eyed from hours at the computer I committed the cardinal sin of leaving the door of The Snug ajar. Already filled with pent-up curiosity Whimsy the dog took this as an invitation to join in the fun.
When I returned, invigorated and ready for the virtual fray, my faithful companion had opened up a whole new battle front. The place was in chaos. It looked like a tornado had struck. Keyboards, screens and cables were strewn all over the room. Quite unabashed, Whimsy was sitting on the armchair contentedly chewing a pair of earphones.
Luckily for me there is plenty of time to rebuild my podium dreams. It’s unlikely I will get the chance to get my hands on a gold medal for several years. While clearing up the mess is now a priority, one thing is certain – I won’t be letting loose the dog of war again anytime soon!
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