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in Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 03.09.2018 05:25
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Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is not pleased with receiver Kelvin Benjamin questioning why the Carolina Panthers drafted him Jose Altuve Jersey , and criticizing former teammate Cam Newton's accuracy.

McDermott says "there's a time and a place" to discuss those things, adding "this was not one of them." McDermott says he's informed Benjamin this is not how he wants his players to air their grievances.

McDermott spoke Sunday before the Bills returned to practice following a day off, and two days after Benjamin voiced his criticisms in an interview with The Athletic.

Benjamin was quoted as saying getting drafted by the Panthers was "a bad fit from the get-go," when asked to assess his final 2陆 seasons in Carolina. Without mentioning Newton specifically, Benjamin said he could have been more productive with "any other quarterback."

He then pinpointed several star quarterbacks, including Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, in saying they had the knowledge and accuracy of placing a pass to a spot that makes it easier for a receiver to catch the ball.

The Panthers' first-round pick in 2014, Benjamin set team records for rookies with 73 catches, 1,008 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. He missed the entire 2015 season with a left knee injury Trevon Coley Jersey , and totaled 95 catches for 1,416 yards and nine touchdowns in his next 24 games before being traded to Buffalo in October.

Benjamin previously told The Associated Press he asked to be traded.

McDermott said one issue he had with Benjamin's comments is that the Bills open their preseason Thursday hosting Carolina.

What makes Benjamin's comments more awkward is McDermott and Bills general manager Brandon Beane previously worked together for the Panthers. McDermott spent six seasons as Carolina's defensive coordinator before being hired by Buffalo in 2017.

Beane was the Panthers' assistant general manager, and had a hand in drafting Benjamin.

The Overwatch League has planted its flag atop the esports mountain. But just like its twitchy-thumbed superstars, 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 Tyler Ervin Jersey , 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, 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 Levine Toilolo Jersey , 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, 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 Cody Whitehair Jersey , 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.”

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