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Esports’ popularity grows within Tribe and beyond

HOLLYWOOD — Popular video games Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Super Smash Bros. were the center of attraction for a tournament called “Gamer Palooza” on March 28 in Hollywood. Tribal members ages 12 to 24 showcased their gamer skills in a competitive environment at the Howard Tiger Recreation Center.

The tournament was divided into two age categories (12-17 and 18-24). The gamers played in groups consisting of four to five players, starting with Super Smash Bros and then moving to Fortnite, and Call of Duty.

The community event was hosted by Hollywood Board Rep. Gordon “Ollie” Wareham, who, along with Board and Recreation staff, the IT Department and Brody Osceola, helped organize the tournament.

“Ollie approached me about setting up the tournament format and I immediately agreed,” Osceola said. “I’ve been trying to do events like this in the Tribe for as long as I can remember. Being able to finally see it come through is really awesome.”

Osceola, from Naples, has been a semiprofessional gamer for six years. He has competed in two major video game tournaments and many online tournaments.

In 2016, Osceola founded an esports (electronic sports) organization called RCG which stands for “Rose Clan Gaming.” The main focus of the team has been the first person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but Osceola says that they hope to branch out into other video games as well.

“Starting the organization took a lot of research on my part and working with my financial advisor to determine whether it was a viable investment of my time and money,” Osceola said. “To be honest, I am still formalizing the legalities.”

According to multiple news outlets, esports organizations function as many other organizations do. For example, they have team owners, contracts, and generate sponsorships. An esports organization can have multiple teams that compete across different gaming platforms which brings more revenue. Last year the most valuable esports outfit was reported to be worth $310 million.

Osceola’s esports team is the early stages but like other professional gamers the team has their own gaming house. A gaming house is basically what it sounds like. It is a house that is solely dedicated to gaming.

“It is a dream to not only have a house, but then to have one set up just for gaming, content creation and media is amazing,” Osceola said.

A project Osceola currently has in progress is putting together an all-Native American esports team.

“First, establishing an all-Native team is my #1 priority not just for Call of Duty, but any esport we enter. I see esports as an opportunity to showcase native athletes unlike other national sports leagues,” Osceola said. “I would rather raise money to put a jersey on the back of a Native gamer than to just sell our jerseys to our native fans. We planned on premiering our Native team in Anaheim this summer; however the team passes sold out immediately and we were unable to secure one.”

Tribal members play a game of Super Smash Bros. Mar. 28 at the Gamer Palooza event. (Photo Derrick Tiger)
Gamer Palooza winners in the 18-24 age category join Hollywood Board Rep. Gordon “Ollie” Wareham. (Photo Derrick Tiger)
Brody Osceola observes the Call of Duty match during Gamer Palooza at the Howard Tiger Recreation Center on March 28. (Photo Derrick Tiger)
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