Badgers show toughness in battle with Golden Eagles

first_imgNathan HartungA defining characteristic of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team this season has been its ability to adapt to the situation at hand whether it be a defensive battle or a shootout.It was no different Saturday afternoon when Wisconsin (10-0) found itself locked in a physical battle with in-state rival Marquette (5-4) at the Kohl Center.No matter how the season has gone for Marquette and Wisconsin before they meet, the I-94 rivalry game can be depended on to be a dogfight as the Badgers’ 6-6 record against the Golden Eagles under Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan would suggest.“You can look at any rivalry and it’s always going to be a possession game,” Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. “Stylistically how we play and how they play is always going to balance out and it always comes down to loose balls and first to the floor and 50-50 balls and offensive rebounds, put backs and-ones. It boils down to ‘how tough are you?’”When looking for a model of toughness, Wisconsin’s players need look no further than their four-year starter and guard battling back from ACL surgery Josh Gasser.Ryan agreed when asked about where his team’s toughness started in its matchup with Marquette answering simply “Josh Gasser.”“The guys saw what he went through last year and you can’t tell me there isn’t a guy in that locker room that didn’t take notice of the hours and the discipline that Josh put in,” Ryan said. “We got some other guys out there that have a lot of grit, but you have to start somewhere and that’s where it starts.”The combination of physicality and the new defensive rule implemented by the NCAA this year made for a lot of foul calls and consequently foul trouble for both teams.“We’re working at it,” Gasser said of adjusting to the new rules. “Some games are different than others. You just have play with the way it’s going. We never really used our hands on defense, coach teaches it that way … You just have to really concentrate sometimes and stick to what we do.”By the time 10 minutes had gone by in the first half, a total of 12 fouls had been called, seven of which went on Marquette, putting Wisconsin in the bonus with still 10 minutes to play in the opening half.Things started to get dicey for the Badgers when both of their big men, Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky, picked up their second personal fouls within six seconds of each other. This forced Ryan to sub in junior forward Evan Anderson and fifth year senior forward Zach Bohannon, who had played a combined total of just five minutes coming into Saturday’s game.“I thought Evan and Zach did a great job of not letting it slip away,” Ryan said. “We were not in a hole when we were down those last three or four minutes. We were hanging tough.”But Anderson’s opportunity was short lived as he picked up three fouls in more than two minutes of play which put him back on the bench in favor of Bohannon.Wisconsin was able to limit their foul calls in the second half picking up just six, while penalties continued to be a problem for the Golden Eagles in the second half, getting called for 13 fouls with two players, Jake Thomas and Juan Anderson, fouling out.As time began to wind down in the second half, the intensity ratcheted up resulting in a quicker tempo and several loose balls. With hustle plays highlighted by Gasser and Traevon Jackson, Wisconsin gained the edge.“50-50 balls are what we pride ourselves on and what we always want to get,” Gasser said. “Loose balls and even rebounds we consider 50-50 balls, so we want to come up with most of those. Just those plays can really turn the tide of a game and it was good that we got a few of those and then limited theirs.  I think that was a big point to the game.”The Badgers were able to weather their foul trouble and win the battle of toughness with Marquette, giving them their 10th-straight win of the season in a game that lived up to the billing of the I-94 rivalry.“That’s why they’re 94-7 in November and December. They’re not beating themselves, you have to beat them,” Williams said. “The last two years, what was the difference? You could say it was our will. You could say today it was their will. It wasn’t tactical.”last_img read more

Viktor Wanli – Kinguin – Betting on esports

first_imgViktor Wanli is the CEO and Founder of Kinguin. The company was founded as a trading platform in 2013, and is heavily invested in esports with its own team (Team Kinguin) and with plenty more plans afoot. Wanli is speaking on the Brand Ambassadors panel at Betting on Esports Conference next month (September 13-15, Kensington Olympia, London). He’ll be discussing the use, and potential use of, ambassadors in the esports space alongside CEO Scott Burton, Strive Sponsorship Managing Director Malph Minns and Win Technologies Betway Group Head of Esports Adam Savinson. Swipe Right PR Founder Kirsty Endfield is moderating.Esports Insider: Tell us about your vision going forward for KinguinViktor: We believe that everyone should have an access to a great gaming experience. We work to achieve this goal by building a worldwide ecosystem. This includes platforms, service and locations that supports the free economy and personal rights of players.We first released in 2013, this was an international marketplace for video games and related virtual accessories. Up till now it’s connected about 6,000 sellers with over 6,000,000 buyers. That’s why we’ve no doubt what a great gaming experience means to the whole world.“As of right now we’re witnesses to an immense revolution in entertainment and a cultural shift”By following gamers and audience communities we analyse market needs and we try to respond to them. It’s the reason for Kinguin’s engagement with esports activities which draws the attention of an ever increasing number of enthusiasts. As of right now we’re witnesses to an immense revolution in entertainment and a cultural shift. It’s happening now. Esports is one of the fastest growing markets globally and we’d be foolish not to get involved.“In the months to come, we will open the Team Kinguin Performance Center in Warsaw”Our goal is to create Kinguin as a brand umbrella for sub-brands. It was for this reason we brought to life Team Kinguin; our professional esports team. In the months to come, we will open the Team Kinguin Performance Center in Warsaw. This will be a training and performance centre for teams around the world with dedicated spaces for rest, education and general day to day living. Keeping in mind the ever-growing number of esports enthusiasts we developed the Kinguin Franchising System – gaming entertainment centers which will be a place for fans to come together and watch teams playing live. In these network of venues you will find everything required to deliver a great gaming experience: a bootcamp space for teams, a main hall for spectators, a Virtual Reality showroom, shops, bars, restaurants and even a professional studio for video content and streaming for fans online.ESI: What is your opinion of betting operators coming in as team sponsors in esports?Viktor: The increasing attention of gamers and the growing audience within esports is a sociological phenomenon which mirrors traditional sports.“Betting on sports is as old as sports itself”People want to play, they want to be in an audience, and investors obviously consider this trend as an opportunity to create new objectives in business terms. Betting on sports is as old as sports itself. Because the awareness of esports is becoming ever more widespread, as a ‘new discipline’ I am not at all surprised that it draws the attention of traditional sport betting operators. Some of them now offer betting on esports in the same fashion and to the same degree as they do sports and, as such, it equalizes them as part of the same business. As long as esports betting is being done in a properly regulated fashion then it’s something we support, and it’s something that those that want to see the esports industry grow should get behind. ESI: Why did you decide to speak at Betting on Esports 2017?Viktor: I intend to make Kinguin brands present in all aspects of esport business and that is why I am still on the look-out for, and researching, new trends. Betting on Esports 2017 is a great opportunity to meet powerful people responsible for the development of this side of the business.“I intend to make Kinguin brands present in all aspects of esport business”Esports remain a relatively new family of competitive disciplines. That is why I am willing to share my gaming experience with them and learn more about activities associated with betting area.ESI: Why did you decide to sign a PUBG team – you evidently see a strong future for the title?Viktor: Honestly, it’s hard to see the future without this title. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has sold 4 million units in the three months since its launch. This effectively makes PUBG one of the best-selling games of 2017 so far. It is already the second most-watched game on Twitch.“The big idea behind how esport tournaments will look in PUBG is really interesting and it might even lead it to a top spot in esports within 3 years”From what I know, the big idea behind how esport tournaments will look in PUBG is really interesting and it might even lead it to a top spot in esports within 3 years. Who knows, but we really like to invest into innovative concepts and see where it can lead us. It’s just like anything else; what you want to be is the trailblazer.ESI: How involved are you in the day to day of Team Kinguin? Which titles are most appealing to you right now in terms of signing a roster and commercial viability? Are you considering Overwatch for instance? Viktor: Creating verticals in business requires investment and, perhaps equally important, a lot of commitment. I have been involved in Team Kinguin from the beginning till quite recently. Now the structure and core organisation goals are properly set up, I want to  focus my work on a long-term strategic plan for the company as a whole. I want to take my time and identify the what, why, and how of merging all of the pieces together into one well-oiled machine.I think the most interesting thing for us that is happening now is Valve’s announcement about the big changes coming to Dota 2’s tournament structure. We are already looking into that. Now we won’t have a limited number of Major tournaments that were organised by Valve each year, but the game’s publisher will choose more third-party tournaments that will directly sponsor and organise a two-tiered system varied by prize pools. We’re keen to see how it evolves as it looks very promising. For now we’re not considering Overwatch esports as one of the games that we would like to be part of, but we will be tracking the leagues and changes for sure.ESI: What can attendees expect to hear about your involvement in the ‘Brand Ambassadors’ panel?Viktor: It makes sense for me to take a part in a key event concerning betting on sports and esports and I’m aware that operators are always on the look-out for partners. We don’t want to miss any opportunity in the esports business space. We consider it all as a part of an economic universe. Kinguin brands are a part of it too. Universe is going to exist and develop with our ecosystem in the center of it. Kinguin as a platform is building multiple backend technology platforms  which may serve the current betting in esports ecosystem. To name a few: blockchain transactions, ICO cryptocurrencies, steam, CS:GO, PUBG skins backend B2C and C2C distribution platform and more.Betting on Esports 2017 is taking place at the Olympia in London over September 13-15. It’ll have six esports panels with over 25 speakers and a dedicated esports exhibition zone. It’s a part of #boscon2017 which’ll have over 1,000 delegates in attendance.Find out more about it herelast_img read more