Ghost Gaming star Timothy ‘Bizzle’ Miller has weighed in the ongoing legal battle between fellow pro Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney and FaZe Clan, as well as revealing what he plans to do after the Fortnite World Cup.
The biggest event in Fortnite history takes place in New York on July 26-28, with Bizzle qualified for the solo event. He will enter as one of the favorites to win the $3 million first-place prize thanks to his performances in previous tournaments and experience on LAN.
He will be joined on the battlefield with Tfue – who qualified for the solo event while streaming live on Twitch, without a delay, to over 300,000 viewers. As well as focusing on his World Cup preparation, the pro is embroiled in a legal battle with FaZe Clan, and Bizzle has plenty of sympathy for his situation.
Bizzle and Tfue are the two highest earners in Fortnite history
In an exclusive interview with Richard Lewis for Dexerto, Bizzle revealed he understood why Tfue was forced to take action, highlighting his own negotiations with Ghost.
“From Tfue’s side, I understand his frustrations,” he said. “He was in negotiations regarding a new contract for months, and nothing was getting done. I understand there was a decent amount of time when I was renegotiating.
“However, I never had anything to expose Ghost for, so I’ve never been in that situation. It’s hard to know someone who is going through all that. I don’t think he had bad intentions, but you never know what the real story is.”
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Rumors suggested that Tfue was desperate to get out of his contract to fulfill his dream of starting his own esports organization, but Bizzle believes the 21-year-old doesn’t intend to do so.
Miller said: “I’m not sure if that’s possible or what he wants to do. I’ve heard him say he doesn’t want to do that, but you never know.”
YT: GHOST GAMING
Bizzle doesn’t believe Tfue wants to start an org.
Nevertheless, he did admit that if the plans did go ahead that Tfue could easily follow in the footsteps of former Call of Duty pro, Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag, in creating an org such as 100 Thieves.
“He’s gained such a massive following. If I wanted to do it, it wouldn’t be a problem, similar to what Nadeshot did with 100 Thieves. If he wants to do that, he definitely could. I guess we’ll find out in the future,” Bizzle added.
Bizzle thinks Tfue could follow in Nadeshot’s footsteps
Despite repeatedly criticizing the Fortnite competitive scene, the Ghost star stated his intentions to continue competing after the World Cup is over, even with many pro players threatening to quit after its conclusion.
“I’d rather not focusing on streaming or casual play – I want to be the best,” he revealed. “I’ve always been a competitive player. I want to be the best player in the world and play against the best in the world.
“I don’t know whether [Epic Games] will make that happen for me, because I don’t think that’s the case at the World Cup.”
Keeping esports athletes healthy is more than just fun and games
When it comes to sports injuries, professional video gamers are probably not high on anyone’s list. But the repetitive motions that come with playing video games for hours can take their toll.
“With anything that’s done in excess you’re seeing overuse injuries: a lot of wrist injuries, a lot of back, neck injuries,” said Joanne Donoghue with the Center for eSports Medicine at the New York Institute of Technology.
She says people who play video games at such high levels can get really hurt. “A lot of them are not even aware that these are side effects of what they’re doing. It just kind of comes with the territory for them,” she explained.
But some experts are starting to pay attention, such as Dr. Vonda Wright, chief of sports medicine at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. “This is all part of treating this newest group of professional athletes like we’ve always treated traditional athletes,” she explained.
Wright has donated time in a partnership with local esports company Skillshot Media to give gamers more access to medical care. Skillshot is like a traditional sports league: it hosts matches that pit independently-owned teams against each other.
“Thinking about overall player welfare is an important goal for us, since really they’re the most important entity in the whole ecosystem. It’s all about them,” said Todd Harris, who runs Skillshot.
James Heseltine, a professional video game player for a company called Obey Alliance, said that it can be mentally and physically challenging to compete at the professional level.
“It is draining,” he said. “Some of the games can go for 60 minutes. It’s terrible if it goes that long.”
Heseltine has been playing professionally for a few years now and hasn’t suffered any major injuries. Still, every now and then, playing leaves him with a sore neck. On a recent Saturday, Heseltine and others gathered for basic physicals that included a range of motion exercises and a vision test.
Donoghue says health care professionals need to start paying attention to gamers as pro gaming grows and as colleges and high schools around the country start their own esports programs.
“We’re going to have to develop new guidelines for this area of competitive gaming, and I think it’s actually going to be a booming field for people in sports that start to take notice,” she said.
Wright and her team are also getting a chance to do early research on these athletes. She’s trying to figure out what long stretches of intense gaming do to the human body. Wright will also build custom workout plans for the players in the Skillshot Media league to help them head off common injuries. “Tendon issues, postural issues, low back pain,” Wright said. “What we’re trying to do is not only predict those injuries but prevent them.”
Newzoo, which tracks the esports industry, says its audience could top 450 million viewers and its revenues
could exceed $1 billion in 2019.
For gamer Heseltine, playing professionally still doesn’t really feel like work. “Nah, I just feel like I’m hanging out with friends, playing games, which is what I’ve been doing since [I was] a kid,” he said. “I love it, and I hope I can do it for a while.”
Heseltine says if taking better care of his
physical health can help him have a longer esports career, he’s game.
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