Summary of “E-sports leagues are starting to look a lot like the NFL and NBA”

Now, some of the biggest professional e-sports leagues in the world are starting to look a lot like the NBA or NFL. That includes big-money owners, a structured schedule, and things like minimum salaries and other benefits for players.
Even the NBA has launched its own league, partnering with publisher Take-Two on the 17-team NBA 2K League.
By having permanent teams that fans can become attached to and owners can invest in for the long-term, these leagues are hoping to build something that can eventually compete with more established professional sports leagues.
For many of these owners – who reportedly paid a $20 million fee to be part of the league – the familiar structure of a traditional sports league like the NBA was comforting, in large part because the business model is proven, something that’s not true for many e-sports leagues.
If Blizzard can make good on translating the global, inclusive nature of Overwatch to the players in the Overwatch League, it could represent a significant advantage over the traditional sports leagues it’s aiming to compete with.
“It’s a really fascinating case study that a lot of leagues will look to to learn about the idea of regional teams, and building strong brands within cities,” says Hopper.
Last February, game publisher Take-Two announced a partnership with the NBA to launch a new professional league based on NBA 2K, one of the best-selling sports games in the world.
The NBA has long been one of the most forward-thinking sports leagues in North America.

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Summary of “Departing Facebook Security Officer’s Memo: “We Need To Be Willing To Pick Sides””

“With Facebook’s complexity, you need people who can stand up and advocate. Alex has a tremendous depth of expertise and reputation – he’s the person you’d want in your corner to help get the company on track. If you didn’t want him, who else would you want? It’s a big loss.”
We need to change the metrics we measure and the goals we shoot for.
We need to think adversarially in every process, product and engineering decision we make.
We need to build a user experience that conveys honesty and respect, not one optimized to get people to click yes to giving us more access.
We need to intentionally not collect data where possible, and to keep it only as long as we are using it to serve people.
We need to listen to people when they tell us a feature is creepy or point out a negative impact we are having in the world.
We need to be willing to pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues.
We need to be open, honest and transparent about challenges and what we are doing to fix them.

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Summary of “The Kawhi-DeRozan Trade Is a Win for Both the Spurs and Raptors”

Ever since Zaza Pachulia stepped underneath Kawhi Leonard in the 2017 Western Conference finals, Spurs fans have been living a nightmare.
With a lack of clarity regarding Leonard’s true value, the Celtics and Sixers weren’t willing to go all in, the Lakers weren’t biting, and any other team with reported interest-Clippers, Suns, Blazers, Nuggets-didn’t offer enough to outbid the Raptors.
Multiple league executives say the Spurs were prioritizing scoring in all prospective trade packages for Leonard, not picks or unproven players.
The Spurs won 47 games last season almost in spite of the Leonard situation.
Leonard might not be happy, but if he returns the same player or better than what he was in 2016-17, the Raptors will immediately improve on both ends.
If Leonard isn’t healthy or makes it clear he’s leaving next summer, or if the team underperforms, Ujiri can let the situation play out then jump-start the rebuild in 2019, or blow it up before the trade deadline by dealing Leonard again.
Of all teams for Leonard to be traded to, both Los Angeles franchises have to be feeling good today that Leonard was dealt to the coldest city in the league, and to a worse team on paper than the Celtics or Sixers.
Ujiri made the right move in trading two years of middling with DeRozan for one year of potential greatness with Leonard.

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Summary of “New research explains why sports fandom makes us less happy”

Millions of French soccer fans are feeling great right now.
Most sports fans will tell you that following their team is agony.
“Loss aversion,” a key theory in behavioral economics, may partly explain why being a sports fan stinks so much.
Data from a new study suggests that loss aversion also describes the life of a sports fan.
To examine the impact of sports, the researchers looked at the reported happiness of people they identified as soccer fans before and after matches during the British and Scottish seasons between 2011 and 2013.
As loss aversion predicts, losing makes you feel worse than winning makes you feel better.
So if it’s so hopeless, why do so many people still follow sports teams? The researchers don’t really have an answer.
As a sports fan myself, I would guess that, like most long-term relationships, fandom is not about happiness.

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Summary of “The Story Behind Why Soccer Players Sit In Race Car Seats”

While watching the FIFA World Cup a few weeks ago, my boss noticed players sitting in race car seats, and ordered me to figure out why.
So I reached out to one of the biggest race car seat manufacturers, Recaro.
While I’m not sure who makes the exact seats coddling the butts of soccer players at this year’s World Cup, I did learn about how heavily-bolstered sports car seats wound up on the sidelines of a football pitch in the first place.
“The story about the car seats at the sidelines goes back to the 1990s,” Tilman Schaefer, a company representative told me via email.
He went on, saying the owner of Recaro at the time, Ulrich Putsch, was on the board of the German soccer team F.C. Kaiserslautern, and apparently gave the team’s manager Kalli Feldkamp a sports car seat because “The guy had back problems.”
It wasn’t long before, in 1994 according to the company’s website, the rest of the team wound up sitting on a “Custom-tailored players bench,” with Schaefer saying: “They put the seat right next to the bench. Because the players thought the seat to be just gorgeous Ulrich had a complete bench produced for the home team” as a part of a sponsorship deal.
Today, according to Recaro, over 70 top soccer teams-including Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Debreceni Vasutas SC and Ferencváros Budapest-sit on Recaro bucket seats.
As for the reasons why, Recaro’s spokesperson put it simply: “[The] seats are very comfortable and often supplied with a seat heating for the winter.

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Summary of “This Was the Best World Cup in Decades”

Antoine Griezmann, who’s one of the best strikers in the game, functioned as a defense-first advanced midfielder, while Paul Pogba, who was once the most expensive player in the world because of his ability to score and create goals from behind the attack, was employed as a reserved midfielder who rarely got too far forward.
This, after all, is the same nation that saw its 2010 World Cup brought down by a player mutiny.
World Cup red cards for serious foul play/violent conduct1998: 162002: 112006: 82010: 62014: 72018: 0.- Bill Edgar July 10, 2018 It cleaned up dirty play and possibly opened up things for attackers.
Managers Matter More Than Ever Before Before the World Cup, Soccernomics coauthor Simon Kuper told me, “The manager’s role is usually vastly overrated.” The players on the field win and lose and draw the games, and at the club level, the quality of those players is typically determined by how rich your team is.
The best teams seem like they have the best managers because they have the best players.
Sweden were without the best player in the country’s history and possibly even still their best player right now, and they won a group that included the defending World Cup champs and then advanced farther than Spain, Portugal, and Argentina.
While they generally struggled from open play, the Three Lions made the semifinals of the freaking World Cup and were less than 30 minutes away from the final.
Thanks to improvements in coaching and player training across the globe, it seems like the rest of the world is starting to catch up to the traditional powers.

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Summary of “The Biggest Takeaways of NBA Free Agency”

The Lakers Will Be Better and Worse Than We Expect Danny Chau: The potential union of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard fascinates me more than any other feasible partnership in the league, and as a non-Laker fan, I’d rather watch two top-five players run roughshod over most of the league than watch LeBron potentially meme himself to death in wrangling extremely young talent and permanently suspended adolescents on the active roster.
Not every young player can successfully break from LeBron’s marionette strings while he’s on the court.
Kuzma is the kind of big with athleticism and floor spacing that LeBron hasn’t played with in a while; Ball is an offensive wild card, but has the playmaking and defensive instincts to get in the King’s good graces.
I’m even excited about Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who might just prove himself to be the best 3-and-D player LeBron has played with in ages.
The Bulls Will Regret Matching Zach LaVine’s Offer Sheet Justin Verrier: Forty-three players made more than $19.5 million last season, and the majority are either cornerstones or millstones for their franchise.
LaVine is only 23 years old, and has flashed the sort of scoring potential that typically earns players top dollar on the open market.
In 24 games with the Bulls last season, while playing through minute and game restrictions, LaVine shot just 38.3 percent from the floor.
Just a few months later, Paxson is now paying LaVine as if he already is a better player.

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Summary of “West Germany 3, Hungary 2: The Most Important Soccer Game Ever Played”

A significant beauty of soccer is that it can be played superbly by Garrincha and Cristiano Ronaldo, John Charles and Lionel Messi, Paul Gascoigne and George Best.
West Germany were likely to lose no matter who played, and now, their key players were fresh to playoff against Turkey to decide who qualified from the group in second place.
West Germany duly beat Turkey 7-2, earning a quarterfinal tie with Yugoslavia, whose officials, Uli Hesse explains in his brilliant Tor! The Story of German Football, planned to present bouquets of flowers before the game to players who had reached various cap landmarks.
In probably the best game played hitherto and one still in the conversation now, Uruguay scored two late goals to force extra time, only for the “Golden head” and bulging neck of Kocsis to send them home.
Meanwhile West Germany were serene, messing around on Lake Thun and playing cards in Spiez’s Hotel Belvedere.
Berlin’s Humboldt University has since revealed that doping was endemic in West German sport at the time, and while it’s been wondered whether the players were given vitamin C with a dirty syringe, the historian Guido Knopp felt that they were to accept injections like “Soldiers who have received orders.” The following winter, many of the team fell seriously ill, and eight of its members visited a spa for treatment, variously suffering from jaundice, hepatitis, and black fever; two of them, one of whom didn’t drink, died of cirrhosis, and the final XI never played together again.
Playing Hungary in May 1942, Germany trailed 3-1 at half time; worried about official reprisals, Herberger implored his players not to let this “Become a catastrophe.” Walter ensured that it did not, inspiring a 5-3 win that would later save his life.
Shortly afterward, Hónved played a European Cup tie in Bilbao, after which the players refused to come home; the return leg was played in Brussels and many of them subsequently defected.

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Summary of “Zach Lowe on winners and losers in 2018 NBA free agency”

Will the Lakers or another team step up and make a deal for Kawhi Leonard? Zach Lowe breaks down the Kawhi conundrum.
The NBA needs to get out of here with this noise about air travel and imbalanced scheduling in batting away the idea of seeding teams 1-16 without regard to conference.
The system safeguards that to some degree via Bird Rights – the ability of teams to go over the cap in re-signing their own players.
The only potential good news: A bunch of quality players saw this coming, and took one-year deals that will vault them back into free agency next summer – when a lot of those grotesque 2016 contracts expire.
Almost half of the league’s total player pool will enter free agency in a year.
The rare teams with space – or the full, $8.7 midlevel exception – used their leverage to try and squeeze good players into three- and four-year deals.
To lock players in longer, teams had to settle for second-tier wings or overpay their own free agents.
Remember the last time we freaked out about Houston losing free agency? It was 2014: LeBron switched teams, Dallas hit Chandler Parsons with a fat offer sheet, and the Rockets let Parsons walk because they didn’t think he was a star.

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