It would be fair assume that eSports - online multiplayer game tournaments - are almost exclusively played by guys in their late teens/early 20s who have a borderline dangerous relationship with energy drinks. But you could not be more wrong…
Making the rounds on Reddit and “competing” against (I put it in quotes because they absolutely toasted them) event attendants at DreamHack Winter 2017, Sweden’s Silver Snipers have been proving that gaming is not just for the kids.
Officially the oldest Counter Strike team in the world, their ages range from 62 to 81 and just looking at their gameplay footage, they well and truly put me to shame!
And what makes them more amazing, beyond their Bomber Jackets and amazingly inspirational message that gaming truly is for everyone? Just take a look at their nicknames:
- Abbe “BirDie” Drakborg
- Wanja “Knitting Knight” Godänge
- Bertil “Berra-Bang” Englund
- Monica “Teen Slayer” Idenfors
I’ll admit… Laughed very hard at how incredible “Teen Slayer” would be on the back of any T-shirt. Anyway - bordering on 30, it’s clear that I’m losing my rapid reaction times to play shooters like this. But the Silver SNipers destroy that preconception with a well-placed explosive round.
”Why should I sit home and play chess, because I’m old?! This is a perfect game for us elderly.” Bertil told New Rising Media in an exclusive interview. “And the most important thing for us is not to win it’s to have fun and of course show everyone that age is just a number. With gaming you really get a chance to practice co-ordination, strategy and dexterity.”
So I know the first question. How did they get round to starting a team like this - a team who, up until forming the Silver Snipers had never played anything digital? Well, they started with a sound foundation, by hiring retired gamer Tommy ‘Potti’ Ingemarsson who —way back in 2000—helped found Sweden’s highly-successful Ninjas in Pyjamas team. Ingemarsson also happens to be a 10-time World Champion in Counter-Strike.
Keen to know what their training regime looked like, I had to ask.
“We train a lot at home, I play nearly 4 hours each day, and we play together at bootcamps with our coach,” TeenSlayer commented. “We also have a group chat with our coach where we can ask questions.”
“We have our own secret tactics how to win.” BirDie added.
Knitting Knight built on this with her own insight, “I can find a lot of good skills to practice like strategy, quicker finger movements, and best is to get to meet so many young people and share the experience with them!”
And as they rack up the hours in CS:GO (Knitting Knight is on the most at 101 hours), this Lenovo-Legion sponsored team has put the pro-gaming scene on blast. I asked about their future plans.
“The next goal is to do more training and get better. We really want to show the kids that age is just a number and of course that gaming is for everyone! We are currently planning for our next adventure, maybe we will go overseas to compete,” said Monica ”Teen Slayer” Idenfors.
It’s the Harry Brown of the eSports world and nothing has made me feel quite as happy as finding out about this story! And while they lost both of their exhibition matches at DreamHack Winter 2017, they won the hearts of people across the globe. Wishing them all the best in their training and future tournaments.
P.S. for anyone else looking to join in the eSports movement, the Knitting Knight has some advice - “Just do it! It’s so much fun and it’s easy. And it's the best way to connect with other people. We have gotten so much love from the gaming community.”
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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.