So You Wanna be a Gamer? | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
Search
Username
Pin It
Favorite

So You Wanna be a Gamer? 

Dayne Downey of Portland's Blazer5 Gaming is a different kind of professional athlete

Plenty of kids want to grow up and become professional athletes: to be masters of their craft and at the top of their game. But what if your craft includes a controller and joystick? Nowadays, becoming a professional gamer is more viable than ever.

Just ask Dayne "OneWildWalnut" Downey, the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA 2K League Draft.

UNSPLASH
  • Unsplash

"I realized I could transition my gaming into a professional career as soon as Adam Silver and Brendan Donohue announced the NBA 2K League," said Downey, via Twitter. "I knew I had the skills to be in the league and just needed to give it my full effort."

The NBA 2K League is a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two interactive. At its inception, the 2K League was the first esports league actually operated by a professional sports organization in the U.S. It's the real deal—fans can watch these games live on Twitch or YouTube and can buy gear to support their squad. Being as heavily involved in Trail Blazers Twitter as I am, I can see that the love for Blazer5 Gaming throughout the Portland fanbase is no joke: Downey earned MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2018, and his teammate, Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser, went on to win MVP in 2019.

"Being the inaugural MVP and DPOY was a huge blessing in my life," Downey said. "It showed everyone that I deserved to be in this league and that I'm here to stay and be one of the league's top players for years to come. From these awards, a lot of doors have opened up for me and I am taking full advantage of it."

For some, it might seem weird to celebrate someone's skills at a video game, but there's actually a lot more that goes into becoming an elite gamer than just pushing buttons.

"In the NBA 2K League, each team must co-exist," Downey said. "There are six people on each team and we all live together in the city of the team we got drafted by. Just like real sports, we have to work together to be on top of our game. We scrimmage each week as a team and fly to New York to compete in the studio that we play in. There is a lot of preparation involved—scrimmage blocks, game planning, and film sessions."

In 2020, more kids may try to pursue a career in the video game field. There are plenty of colleges offering esports programs and scholarships to play. Even the University of Oregon is ramping up its new esports program this year with the addition of its new gaming lounge.

"For younger people considering an esports path I would say this: Keep your options open," Downey advised. "Don't be reliant on being an esports player. Put your full effort into doing what you want to do but always have a backup plan or two. I was in school and playing college basketball at the time I was trying out for the league. If I didn't make it, I was still on a path to transfer to a four-year college. But I gave my full effort to something I love to do and it has paid off. So, go for it and give it your all. Esports is here to stay and is growing each and every year."

Watch Blazer5 Gaming at twitch.tv/blazer5gaming


Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletter Signup

Cascades Reader Logo Cascades Reader

Get your daily dose of news for Central Oregon and beyond, delivered to your inbox five days a week. Powered by the Source Weekly.

Latest in Local News

  • Source Weekly Update Podcast 2/28/20

    • Feb 26, 2020
    Is Bend getting shorted on vacation rental taxes? Plus, the never-ending saga of dredging Mirror Pond More »
  • Mirror of Sand

    • Feb 26, 2020
    As Bend Park and Recreation District and the City of Bend move forward with plans for a fish passage committee for Newport Dam and Mirror Pond, the age-old debate about dredging resurfaces once again. More »
  • R.I.Bee.

    • Feb 26, 2020
    Oregon lost nearly half its honey bee population from 2018 to 2019. Local honey bee experts explain the importance of doing our part to keep bees alive More »
  • More »

More by Isaac Biehl

  • Source Material

    Source Material

    February Selections
    • Feb 26, 2020
  • #InDaCouch

    #InDaCouch

    When doing nothing feels so right: A case for staying in while living in a town that never seems to stop being out
    • Feb 26, 2020
  • Polecat's Last Hoorah

    Polecat's Last Hoorah

    Bellingham's favorite Americana band is hanging up its hat after 10 years
    • Feb 26, 2020
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The War Wages On

    The War Wages On

    Oregon will have 11 dedicated opioid treatment centers by 2019. Where—as a city, state and as a nation—are we in this raging opioid epidemic?
    • Jul 18, 2018
  • Fore! the Animals

    Fore! the Animals

    Goat caddies at a new course in Eastern Oregon give advice—when they want to
    • Jul 25, 2018

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation