Gaming

Irish YouTube Star DBG Ready For Basketball Ireland's Inaugural Esports Competition

Irish YouTube Star DBG Ready For Basketball Ireland's Inaugural Esports Competition

This lockdown period has impinged and impacted on several facets of everyday life.

Never again will people bemoan a mid-week football fixture between Premier League basement dwellers, nor will they turn their nose up at the prospect of a Sunday spent indoors watching multiple sports at once.

However, the lockdown has allowed for other facets of entertainment to flourish. In the absence of live sport, esports and gaming livestreams have seen a huge spike in popularity, with people looking to fill the void of sport with the next best thing.

Just last week, ourselves at Balls hosted a Dublin Derby between Keith Ward of Bohemian FC and Aaron McEneff of Shamrock Rovers on FIFA 20. Over in England, Premier League footballers were competing against one another to take the title of the Premier League's best FIFA player.

Basketball Ireland have seen this and have decided to announce an inaugural esports tournament, which will allow basketball fans from all over Ireland to compete against one another for Basketball Ireland prizes. The tournament will take place on the premiere basketball simulation, NBA 2k20, with the competition being exclusive to Playstation 4.

One basketball fan aiming to win the lot is Mick Curley. The Drumcondra native is the man behind the 'DBG' gaming channel, with Curley having amassed nearly 300,000 subscribers on that channel, as well as his video essay channel called 'Bball Daily'.

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Curley, who plies his trade for Glasnevin BC in Dublin Division One, is one of YouTube's premier content creators on NBA 2k20, particularly on the game's MyTeam mode. For Curley, the rules of the tournament mean that his background doesn't give him too much of an advantage.

"Three minute quarter games and single elimination means anything is possible. One bad quarter over the course of the tournament and it could be game over.

"I'm also not too familiar with the play now game mode but will have to get a few practice rounds in against some of the Global Championship finalists as a warm up."

NBA 2k content, as with basketball content in general, on YouTube is dominated by America, which leaves Curley as a relative outsider in the scene, despite his standing. It has lead to Curley being called out for his 'credibility' in the scene, despite his tireless work ethic and informative approach to the game.

"I have people question my credibility every day due to where I'm from. It's rare I go even an hour without receiving some form of insult solely because of my accent or being Irish.

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"At the same time it doesn't really affect me since I'm too busy to think about where I'm located."

"Busy" for Curley, is curating YouTube channels which have seen him "put out 3000 videos" and take just nine days off over the course of four years. Despite YouTube being his full-time job, Curley had also been on placement as a student teacher in his final year of college before lockdown hit. It's another facet of the lockdown which has given Curley the ability to thrive amidst the uncertainty.

"Before the lockdown so I was working from 8-4 in the school then from 5-3am every day on videos from January. Since lockdown started I've managed to get out more content than ever before, double my views per day as well as starting to stream on twitch and consistently being one of top 3 NBA 2k20 streamers whenever I'm online."

However, it's important to note that, for Curley, YouTube isn't the be-all and end-all.

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He understands the volatility of the YouTube viewership, that in a moment you could be cast aside for something else. Instead, his focus is on completing his teaching degree and seeing where the road takes him.

"My objective is to keep working as hard as I can and still have time to live my life. Youtube is so volatile that if you focus on subscriber growth or views alone you'll go crazy.

"I know that from my own experience. Hitting 200k subscribers would be great looks like it's almost a guarantee at this stage before the end of the year but really isn't high on my list of priorities.

"My biggest achievement this year will be finishing my teaching degree."

If he wins the Basketball Ireland Esports Championship, it'll probably be a close second.

The Basketball Ireland Esports Championship begins on Wednesday May 6th.

Applications for entry can be found here.

For more information, visit Basketball Ireland.

SEE ALSO: 7 Ways 'Warzone' Perfectly Captures Life During The Lockdown

Sean Meehan

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