CLEVELAND — I’ve lived through the entirety of the video game evolution. The first video game version of basketball that I played was for the Atari 2600 system and it looked like two stick figures fighting over possession of a square dot in between two coat racks.
If you haven’t been paying attention, there have been some notable upgrades since my childhood. We have no reached a point where there has no been more than one occasion where I have found myself staring up at a TV screen in a bar, trying to determine whether or not what I’m watching is an actual NBA game or a simulation of an actual NBA game. Depending on where my evening is at I might watch till the end regardless.
When I was young, playing video games was considered a vice and a waste of time. In my case, that was probably true, but for some of today’s most elite gamers, it’s not just a hobby: It’s a profession.
I recently had the opportunity to meet a professional Cleveland sports team that many might not be familiar with: The Cavs Legion Gaming Club. Owned and operated by the Cavaliers organization, this official esports basketball team is one of 24 squads who have been competing for dominance since 2018.
I visited the Cavs Legion in their impressive Cavs Legion Lair Lit by TCP in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. It’s a remarkable facility with all the bells and whistles require to help these athletes hone their skills.
I got to hang out with some of the players and even got to personally play against the best of the best. And though I did not fare well, It was an honor to be publicly humiliated by the best and a pleasure to get to spend a little time with this all-too-unheralded pro-Cleveland sports team.
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