Hello I'm William Barton before we begin allow me to paint a picture for you. If you would indulge me and listen imagine your biggest athletic achievement and the way you felt leading up to it. No doubt you were nervous art raising as your instincts allowed to compete at your highest possible capacity you likely have friends and family there to cheer you want spurring you forward to victory. now imagine that but rather than hearing the support of your friends and family hearing the steady hiss of white noise as you competed on your biggest stage ever a few weeks ago I attended the hearthstone America with the winter championship for me it was easily the most stressful and draining experience of my life to be put on a stage in front of 80,000 people and to be left to adjust your thoughts as you play against your opponent is beyond unsettling however as I’m sure you can all equate the elation of watching months no years of work payoff is also unspeakably satisfying a few weeks ago I became the hearthstone America's winter champion securing myself $25,000 and a direct seed to the World Championships this cemented me as a top competitive Arsenal player and propelled me the pinnacle of my gaming career today I want to talk about something that's really important to me. today I want to talk about gaming not just when they think of it but also you only think of it as well for many of you having grown up in a generation different from my own your stereotypical gamers one with bags under his eyes visible posture and a diet not even one of the rug rats subsist on and for a long time. that's how gamers have been portrayed in the media almost there are being gamer was taboo I'm a professional gamer. however that is not a complete all-inclusive definition I’m also a student athlete in that order and a world traveler gaming is a huge part of my identity but no more than say my love of math or tennis or basketball even getting to see the world with my family from my competitors are equally well rounded with one of the people I played against the championships. in the national high school chess champion a solid tennis player and just generally well-rounded nice kid many people see gaming is a blemish on smart young people's identities. But I would argue that it's an integral part of a holistic definition of myself the experiences I've gotten through gaming have been like no other and shaped me and giving me the comfort and confidence even to a talk like this. Let’s talk about gaming first with a definition gaming is simply defined as the actor playing a game. so this could range from classic board games just like monopoly classic card games such as Bridger poker to online games played on computer so you may not know it the vast majority of you been gaming whole lives. However, when people refer to gaming nowadays generally they're talking about electronic gaming. If you take electronic gaming one step further, and you have esports. esports is basically just competition that's facilitated through an electronic device such as an xbox or computer. ESports isn't just a way of competing it's an industry and arising one in 2010 the total process will across all major sports events came in about 1.5 million USD in 2015. That number has increased more than eight fold over 45 million USD. as a result established sports coverage companies such as yahoo and ESPN are looking to get their foot in the door on eSports are starting to carve out sections of their websites devoted to it. But who is involved in this eSports industry and who was competing in these tournaments. The answer there is primarily professional gamers people have been gaming for a living for a long time in other parts of the world dating as far back as the nineteen nineties and South Korea more recently. however, this has become more of a Western trend and spreading to Western continent such as Europe and the Americas people who have been gaming there have been from I primarily supported by third-party teams such as T mark on one of the teams I play for but also the game developers are looking to support the competitive sides of their games more and more. Lately these teams wouldn't be able to exist. However, without sponsors and the sponsors for these teams are generally people who are providing gaming where for professional gamers and just casual gamers. these are there providing things like mice mousepads, keyboards and had sets and just to name a few big companies those would be razor and funk. however due to the rise in the industry as of late more generic big-name brands are looking to get into the sponsor game with Glico Honda being a few that. I've come in contact with there are many types of professional games played the game I play hearthstone is fairly unique in that it's a digital card game the first and by far the most prominent of its kind it's different from a regular card game where two people are going against each other with one 52-card deck rather each player gets to construct their own 30 card deck of unique cards and go against each other if I were to compare hearthstone to a regular card game. I think the closest comparison would be poker as both required to evaluate what your opponent may or may not have in their hand based off their play then subsequently play accordingly from the main competitive format across all competitive games revolves around tournaments both put on by the game developers and by third-party organizations such as red bull I had the privilege to attend one of these such tournaments in February and I must say I was treated exceptionally well as an experience I would value it way more highly than the one day of school I had to miss to attend while there I was extremely nervous going into our first match but I was interviewed and I knew I had to keep my cool during that after the tournament even though I did not make it particularly far I was interviewed once again and I knew once again that I would have to keep my cool and composer teaching me an invaluable lesson about grace employees even in defeat for me gaming was something I grew up with my brother gene and I bonded over games when we were younger and ultimately he was the one who introduced me to competitive gaming and eSports I was marvel to the sheer speed which people can manipulate their hands at the same time maintaining such a high octane level of critical thinking imagine trying to outrun a train while being held by minivans sized hail and trying to write and solve a math equation at the same time I think that's about as close a comparison as you get for the amount of things that are coming at you at once during some of these games the sheer pressure of having 45 thousand pairs of eyes on you as you compete for a spot in the world championships is incomparable the pressure I felt . during my gaming career completely Trump's the pressure I felt at any other point of competition in my life likewise the elation of watching yourself succeed under such a high level of stress and pressure is also unlike anything I've ever felt then afterwards step to verbalize yourself in an interview in front of 38,000 people when you're still practically shaking with excitement has taught me an invaluable lesson about grace employees in victory gaming for me has always meant much more than just playing I consider myself a bit of an autodidact or a self-teacher I've always done well in school but the same time felt it didn't have everything I wanted offered to me as a result I've been likely to branch out and try and find different ways to educate myself this is consist of me playing chess bridge and poker with my family and friends and eventually branching into gaming. Gaming for me has been a great outlet for someone who takes heavy interest in learning outside of school especially hearthstone as it's primarily decision-making based I feel as though I've learned more than just how to play a specific game. But also about how to evaluate certain situations keep my cool under pressure even it and even how to value certain things over others in my life. I feel as though gaming gets a bad rap from a lot of generations mostly just due to a lack of information there have even been recent scientific strides showing that the correct games engineered by neurosurgeons may help reduce or even eliminate Alzheimer's disease in reality. Gamers aren't people who are underachieving because they're spending time gaming but in fact that people who are seeing unique perspectives and thinking in different ways because their gaming this goes from anyone who someone from someone who's playing once a week somebody's playing every day competitively. bottom line gaming is here to stay as an industry and a pastime it deserves your respect so who here has heard of you sports and who here thinks that people who sit behind their computer all day and play video games are wasting their time. Thank you.