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Matthews’ march to 50, playing with Spezza keep Hyman hopeful for return

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Watching Auston Matthews chase 50 goals and having another chance to suit up with Jason Spezza are among the many reasons Zach Hyman would like to see the 2019-20 season continued.

Matthews was at 47 goals when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the NHL to hit pause, and the future of Spezza with the Leafs could be in doubt as he is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent once the season ends.

“He has had an amazing year and hopefully we can get back to playing so he can finish that off and get to 50,” Hyman said of Matthews. “He has been an elite player since he got into the league and I think he has got better every year, which is hard to do when you are already playing at a high level.”

Hyman and Spezza had side-by-side stalls in the Leafs dressing room.

“I picked his brain a bunch,” Hyman said. “You can ask him any question about hockey and he will have an answer for it.

“He has been through a lot this year and he had a calm and steady demeanour through it and was a great presence for our younger guys. It would be awesome to have him back.”

 

Gaming

The Video Games That Could Land You a Job

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Video gameplay has attracted negative attention in some parts of our culture. It has been seen by some as unproductive, time-wasting, and preventing people from going outside.

This has changed a lot in recent years, though. Video game players have turned pro, taking part in competitive leagues and tournaments. These esports events often have large pots of prize money that is handed out to the participants, depending on their final position. Are you ready to enter the world where top players can potentially earn millions of dollars?

 

The Early Days of the Professional Esports Player

Video game competitions are called esports and have grown into a billion-dollar industry in just a few years. Some of the esports tournaments and leagues that we know today began in the early 2000s and have developed strong followings.

These include multi-discipline competitions like Major League Gaming, the Intel Extreme Masters, and the World Cyber Games. A range of titles are played by their participants, including Dota 2, Hearthstone, CrossFire, FIFA, World of Tanks, and Super Smash Bros.

If a game is popular, it’s likely to have an esports competition that uses it too, although some titles are more present than others. For example, Hearthstone, Fornite, and iRacing are commonly featured in competitions.

It is only within the last decade or so that we have seen esports grow into a professional discipline. Like all sports, as the number of spectators has increased, businesses have become interested in sponsoring events to get their brand in front of excited fans. This has driven up the professionalism and commercialism of esports and led to large prize funds.

While in the first few iterations of Major League Gaming, the World Cyber Games, and the Intel Extreme Masters, competitors shared prize purses of a few hundred thousand dollars among their competitors, but this has grown to millions in 2020.

The International (Dota 2) tournament awards more than $30 million to its competitors, while it has been estimated that global prize money now equates to over $700 million each year.

 

Top Players

Thiese huge payouts spawned some wealthy esports gamers. The Danish player Johan Sundstein, who goes by the name N0tail when is thought to have earned almost $7 million from esports. He earned nearly half of that just in 2019, bringing in more than $3 million of winnings.

Additionally, professional esports players can boost their earnings by broadcasting their gaming on streaming platforms like Twitch. A report by the Hollywood Reporter claimed that some are making as much as $15,000 per hour doing this.

This money is generated through donations, paid channel subscriptions and advertising, and sponsorship deals, similar to how YouTubers make money.

 

 

 

Anyone Can Get Involved

Unlike many traditional professional sports, there are a lot of esports tournaments where members of the public can qualify for a place. This is most common with esports that are organized by traditional sports leagues, that help run the marketing for the video games and the sport itself.

Although competition for a place is fierce, it is a genuine route into professional video game playing. So anyone who wants to have a career in esports may wish to consider one of these games.

 

NBA 2K

Launched in 2018, the NBA 2K League is the official NBA esports league. It has teams that are affiliated with the teams in the real NBA, although the divisions remain independent of each other. Therefore NBA championship outcomes or betting odds are not affected by the performance of teams in the 2K League and vice versa.

Players can take part in the NBA 2K League Qualifier to earn a place in its draft. Those that get drafted go on to represent their team in the main league, with live events taking place across the US.

The 2019 qualifier rules required players to win at least 50 games and maintain a win percentage of at least 50% in online games during the qualifying period. Therefore, if they played 120 games, they would have to have won at least 60 of them.

They also had to complete an online application form, which was designed to test their understanding of basketball and the NBA 2K game, as well as their commitment to fair and respectful competition.

The draft then took place in four rounds, with a total of 75 players being picked by the teams. In 2019, teams didn’t take up the option, but they also can forfeit a draft selection to retain a player from the previous season.

 

Formula 1

Racing simulation video games are perhaps the most realistic of esports. While the NBA 2K game has ballers controlled by joysticks, the Codemasters Formula 1 games are usually controlled using force feedback steering wheels and pedals that make racing as close as possible to the real thing.

This can be seen in Nissan’s GT Academy that takes the best players of the Gran Turismo video game and turns them into professional race drivers. Past winners of this competition include Jann Mardenborough, who has been successful in Super GT and Formula 3.

While the Formula 1 game doesn’t offer the chance to compete against Lewis Hamilton in real life, it does give you the chance to take part in the F1 Esports Series. Like the NBA 2K League, teams are affiliated with the official Formula 1 teams and players can be drafted into a driving spot through qualification.

There are multiple qualification routes with a time trial contest, the “challenger series,” and a “playoff,” all adding contenders to the draft event. Each team ends up with a total of three drivers, one for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC versions of the game.

 

The Dream Job?

For many people, playing video games for a living is a dream. Until recently, it wasn’t something that many could believe would happen. However, with competitions like these that are open to the public, it’s possible for truly talented video game players to earn a job as a video game player.

Competition is strong, though, and as the NBA 2K League has demonstrated, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be kept for future seasons. Instead, players will need to use the fame their position attracts to build more sustainable income sources, either through sponsored video game playing or entering into other tournaments.

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Entertainment

Fight to Fame Enters Mexican Market

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Fight to Fame has been touring all over the world and planting roots wherever they can.

Ever since this show was launched, all you’ve probably ever heard about are the deals they’ve closed with big personalities in different continents and legends they’ve secured as ambassadors.

Entering different markets is definitely a tough process because producers need to understand how the market works and what appeals best to their customers. But the team behind Fight to Fame doesn’t seem to be fazed, in fact, they’re planning to enter one of the toughest markets in the world—Mexico.

Boxing Popularity in Mexico

Other than their great culture and beautiful destinations, Mexico is also known as the fighting country. People even say that boxing is surely a topic that will lead to meaningful friendships in Mexico. But why is boxing the most popular sport in the country? Let’s start off with the legendary figures that hailed from this country.

This country has produced boxers such as Ricardo Lopez, Juan Manual Marquez, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Marco Antonio Barrera—all successful and legendary during their boxing time. These boxers serve as inspirations for a lot of Mexicans. Another is the kind of work ethic that ensues with boxing.

Boxing is a sport that allowed these boxers to pour their mind, heart, and soul into training which eventually led them to success. This is a trait that’s innate in Mexicans which solidifies the sport’s popularity in the country.

Lastly, this is a very patriotic country. Whenever there’s a huge boxing fight, everybody will find a way to watch it. It’s basically a sport that can clear the streets and make everybody sit tight on their seats while the boxing match is ongoing.

Everybody loves and supports their national bet on any sport and boxing just happens to be on a global platform. With all these reasons, it’s no wonder that boxing is indeed a popular sport in Mexico.

Will Fight to Fame’s Sports Model succeed in Mexico?

Without a doubt, Fight to Fame banks on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). It’s not just simply boxing but it’s a mixture of all other fighting sports which is not common in the country.

One of the reasons for MMA’s unpopularity in Mexico is that there aren’t that many schools or places where one can learn other martial arts. Since the country is quite focused on boxing, arts like wrestling or Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu might not ring any bells for most citizens.

Reality TV shows are one thing but Mexicans on reality TV shows are another.

As mentioned in the previous section, as much as Mexican boxers pour their heart and soul into training, Mexicans also go out of their way to support their national contenders. If there’s a Mexican on any show, you’d be sure that Mexicans will support that person.

Not to mention, the show will grant the winner a role in a huge action movie in Hollywood. That’s a ticket to fame that a lot of people, not just Mexicans, want to get their hands on.

This is one of the things that will make Fight to Fame succeed in Mexico. This could also be an avenue to introduce the entire population to MMA easily. Who knows, Fight to Fame might just start a whole new generation of MMA fighters in the country.

Succeeding in Mexico

If Fight to Fame plays their card well in Mexico, they could just be the next big hit in the country. Mexicans will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the next episode to support their contender.

And we all know that Mexicans will try their best to win everything they take part in, who knows, Fight to Fame Mexico might just be the next big thing.

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Sports

Brandy Halladay makes plea to allow star Jays pitcher to rest in peace

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The pain was likely never going to go away for Brandy Halladay, but this week’s National Transportation Safety Board report detailing the cause of her husband Roy’s death has re-opened the wounds.

The former star for the Blue Jays and later in his career, the Philadelphia Phillies, died in November 2017 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. The report, which became public on Wednesday, said Halladay was performing acrobatic stunts and that he had a high amount of amphetamines in his system at the time of the crash.

In a release from the Phillies on Thursday, Brandy Halladay said the release of the details have been difficult on the Halladay family, which includes a pair of teenaged sons.

“Yesterday’s NTSB report on Roy’s accident was painful for our family as it has caused us to relive the worst day of our lives,” Halladay said. “It has reinforced what I have previously stated, that no one is perfect.

“Most families struggle in some capacity and ours was no exception. We respectfully ask that you not make assumptions or pass judgment. Rather, we encourage you to hug your loved ones and appreciate having them in your lives.”

In her speech at the Hall of Fame induction, Brandy Halladay hinted at the struggles Roy battled with at various points in his life and career.

“Sometimes it’s hard to present the image you know everyone wants to see,” Halladay said. “It’s also hard to be judged by the image people expect of you. It’s a perception and it’s an ideal that think is important we don’t sensationalize and idealize what a baseball player is, but look at the man and the human who is doing such an amazing thing.”

Furthermore, Halladay said, it is easy to forget that star players are people first.

“These men up there doing these outstanding things, they’re still real people,” Halladay said. “They still have feelings, they still have families, they still struggle. So many of the guys I’ve known in my life through baseball, they work so hard to hide them. I know Roy did and Roy struggled a lot.”

With that in mind, on Thursday, Halladay added one final plea regarding her late husband.

“As a family, we ask that you allow Roy to rest in peace.”

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