While E-Sports continues to grow in reputation, many people are still resistant to see it as something that should be taken seriously and this is a fear expressed by Flinders brothers Nicholas and Anthony Brakus. The pair have been playing E-Sports competitively for 18 months and yet they still feel their skills in the virtual arena is something that should not be talked about around their friends.
The two brothers play in the Oceanic League of Tag Pro (OLTP) which completed their fourth season of league play only yesterday, with Anthony’s side The Ballbusters going down in the Premier Ball, the equivalent of a Grand Final in the league. While both brothers play physical sport, it is online where they feel most in their competitive element.
“I used to play a lot of soccer and cricket, but now I only play cricket and its mostly just for fun now, but something like TagPro lets me get back into that competitive spirit and lets me strive to achieve something.” said Nicholas, the older of the two brothers and the one who introduced Anthony to the game.
For the Brakus brothers, online gaming is more than just a way to waste time, it is more of a way to increase the relationship between the two of them. Both Nicholas and Anthony discussed the impact of the game on their personal lives, with Nicholas feeling that while playing online makes things less personal, you “meet people in the community that you want to know and it is those people that keep you playing.”
Yet, they still feel that the game is something that they would much rather keep hidden to themselves and the small community around the game. The most recent season of OLTP had only six teams and 72 players across them, but with over 50 teams in the US and Europe, the game is growing around the world, albeit slowly.
Sitting down with the Brakus brothers seemed to suggest that it is the small size of the community that makes it worth coming back to time and time again, as they get to know people from around Australia and New Zealand that they would never meet otherwise and share experiences they would be unlikely to have in their normal lives.
But for now, the Brakus brothers seem to feel that the best part of it all comes in the form of the closeness that the two share in their love of the game. And with no signs of E-Sports slowing down, experiences like these could become rarer and rarer.