Daniel Kray readies his aim in Overwatch
By Peter R. Clark Entertainment Editor
Graphics by Matthew Gozzip Athletics Editor
Deep in the ancient ruins of an Egyptian city, CSULB’s Overwatch team trains for the a big match against UCLA’s team. A gargantuan knight adorned in regal ivory armor blocks the main gate with his steadfast light shield to prevent the rocket launcher-wielding jetpack soldier from breaking through. The knight pleas for support but the rest of the team is fending off scatter arrows from ninjas and machine gun-toting mech suits. The point seems lost until an ocarina echoes from the rooftop overhead sending chills down the spine of the enemy soldiers. As the opposing team scatters a grisly voice grumbles the signature phrase of death. “It’s high noon”. A mysterious gunslinger emerges from the dark, hand on holster readying to fan the hammer.
BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM! Six shots, six kills.
Not many people know Daniel Kray’s name but the eSports prodigy is just heating up his barrel.
Kray, 21, is the captain of the CSULB’s Overwatch team, a new competitive squad based first-person shooter that has a colorful cast of characters that possess unique abilities that are strategically used to fulfill specific team goals.
The designated avatar for Kray is McCree, an Eastwood-esque cowboy that smokes an infinitely lit cigar that is lit from the gun smoke of his futuristic revolver. The cowboy speaks in corny one-liners from spaghetti westerns and rarely has more than a few words. McCree is the perfect character for Kray in skill and spirit; a silent but deadly marksman who lets his aim do the talking.
Kray prefers first-person shooters when playing competitively. He started out playing Natural Selection, a mod for Half-Life, semi-competitively in high school. Later, he moved on to League of Legends, and then Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He played CS:GO for a couple of years before moving on to Overwatch where he is going to be staying for a while.
“I’m sticking with Overwatch for a long time, CS:GO was my primary [game], but I’m through with that game right now. I see Overwatch growing over the next few years,” Kray said.
Kray has been playing in a lot of amatuer torunaments for League of Legends, CS:GO and Overwatch. He hasn’t competed in major sponsored competitions yet. He was in a North American qualifier for Overwatch, and went to the third round but ended up losing. The biggest thing about these smaller tournaments is getting your name recognized.
“I didn’t go for the prizes. I went to compete and have fun, and getting my name out there,” Kray said.
Initially he wanted join a CS:GO team at CSULB, but there weren’t any teams on campus for that. So he contacted the eSports club and tried to see if he could get a team going. He was able to get an Overwatch team together, and he was assigned in the captain position because he was the best person for the job. There wasn’t anyone else to fit in the role besides him.
“I have experience with other games and I’m good at them, so I know what to look for in other players. However, I am not really the captain type,” Kray said.
His role for the Overwatch team is to be the person who decides what strategy they go for and what characters they should play to counter the enemy team. He primarily plays the damage dealing attacker.
Kray sees Overwatch and eSports in general taking off. He feels that now it is more accessible, and easier for people to get into.
“It’s just beginning, and it will only get bigger. There is so much money involved, all these companies are investing money in sponsorships,” Kray said.
The CSULB Overwatch team will be playing USC on Wednesday 10/5. If you would like to watch Kray play you can watch his stream and video log at twitch.tv/deccca.