USAC eSports National Champs is Happening

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sspomer
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Boise, ID US
1/18/2023 2:27pm

USAC sent out an email that eSports (video game/virtual/exercise bike) National Champs is happening on Feb 11/12. Are ActualSports(TM) mountain bike national champs sorted yet? there hasn't been an announcement about a venue or date yet, right?

https://usacycling.org/events/national-championships/2023-usa-cycling-e…

technical doc - https://s3.amazonaws.com/usac-craft-uploads-production/documents/Nat-Ch…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/usac-craft-uploads-production/assets/2023-esports-nat-champ-hero-1440x500.jpg

 

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Big Bird
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Oceano, CA US
1/18/2023 3:30pm

I guess it's the grumpy old man in me that is disgusted that esports exist anywhere other than the internet. The concept of a school having an esports team is just ridiculous. 

"I went to college to study physics with a specialty in quantum mechanics, but I played too many video games, so I just majored in that instead." Ridiculous.

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mickey
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Roanoke, VA US
1/18/2023 3:56pm

I can imagine a scenario where this split championship doesn’t work, economically, for legit venues and we end up with some sub standard xc or gravity venue because they are literally the only people interested.

Fingers crossed.  

TEAMROBOT
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Los Angeles, CA US
1/18/2023 4:02pm

idiocracy2-1024x576

 Actual picture of the USAC board dreaming up the esports national championship. I haven't read any of the press releases and I probably won't, but I'm dying to know if people travel to the esports national champs with their trainer bike or just tune in from their sweaty box fan garage Zwift setup at home like they normally do. I'm not sure which scenario I think is funnier/lamer/more of a harbinger of the apocalypse.

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1/18/2023 4:43pm Edited Date/Time 1/18/2023 4:47pm

I saw it was only $10 and thought I'd maybe give it a go, but the number of hoops you have to jump through to compete is insane. Reading through the technical doc you have to film a pretty comprehensive power test and provide a condensed edit of it with the relevant parts, plus video of you calibrating your equipment (of which you need two power-cable devices – ie a smart trainer and a power meter), AND you have to film a weigh-in of yourself the day of the event. I get that they're trying to make it fair, but that's A LOT of work for a one hour race (yes, it looks like it's ~22 miles, basically a sprint).

As for the ActualSports™ MTB National Champs, yeah, it's ridiculous but completely on-brand for USA Cycling that we still don't know when or where it'll be. With the recent announcement about team USA making a "home base" or whatever in Bentonville, I assumed it would be happening there. Makes sense, it's the MOUNTAIN BIKE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. Not sure where DH National Champs would be in that case, or if enduro and slalom would be coupled with XC or DH.

My money is on Bentonville (with DH and possibly enduro and DS somewhere else) or Winter Park for the 4th (?) consecutive time.

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sspomer
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Boise, ID US
1/18/2023 4:52pm

@TEAMROBOT - the tech document is pretty fascinating (in a holy-crap-they're-serious-about-this kind of way). i guess if dorks like us can be serious about shock shims and tire inserts to benefit hurling oneself down a mountain, this shouldn't be surprising. no doubt, some fit individuals are going for the gold.

some snippets

Hosted on the Wahoo RGT Virtual Cycling platform, the 2023 National Esports
Championships event will host combined races for American and Canadian citizens
to award National Champion titles in for both respective nations

ALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE A CURRENT USA
CYCLING ANNUAL LICENSE OR VALID UCI FOREIGN FEDERATION LICENSE AS DEFINED
BELOW

The power source for this series may either be a smart trainer or a power meter on the bike
(Quarq, SRM, Stages, PowerTap, etc...). Although not required, we highly encourage riders to
dual record, and to update eBioPassport with both power sources.

Calibration of the trainer and/or the power meter shall be in accordance with the
manufacturer's recommendations.

Weigh-In Verification:
On the morning of the race (or first race if stage race weekend) the rider should
weigh in.

Weigh in videos shall be recorded as follows:
1. Before starting the test:
Set up scales suitable for measuring body weight in the middle of a
room on a hard, even surface, with nothing nearby to hold on to.

Find a heavy weight (approx 10kg) that you can comfortably carry.
Make sure you are wearing socks, cycling shorts and a cycling jersey.

example of a weigh-in video

Data Audit Process
The community will audit in accordance with Ride Fair. Ride Fair is a decentralized,
public effort where rider performance is verified by a committee of peers using
publicly available data.

 

Scrub
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Elk Grove/Truckee, CA US
1/18/2023 6:14pm

I can hear it now,  some competitors power goes out and they'll want a "re-run".   

Better get that generator filled with gas and the extension cord out

1
daneb
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Sandy, UT US
1/18/2023 10:46pm

As ridiculous as this all is, I’m stuck on the fact that a fully realized adult man weighed in at 127 lbs. 

6
jimmypop
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GU US
1/19/2023 4:01am Edited Date/Time 1/19/2023 4:05am
Big Bird wrote:
I guess it's the grumpy old man in me that is disgusted that esports exist anywhere other than the internet. The concept of a school having...

I guess it's the grumpy old man in me that is disgusted that esports exist anywhere other than the internet. The concept of a school having an esports team is just ridiculous. 

"I went to college to study physics with a specialty in quantum mechanics, but I played too many video games, so I just majored in that instead." Ridiculous.

eSports and school-affiliated eSports teams are a different event altogether than what you're talking about. I'm still on the fence, but I think competitive esports provide both an outlet and an opportunity for learning about teamwork, winning and losing, and so on for those who may not otherwise want to or be able to compete in traditional sports. Children with disabilities in particular are benefiting, at least in my area.

This video game cycling, though, is another brand of nonsense altogether. I live in an area where indoor cycling is popular in the winter, and Zwift is like a religion. Or a cult, really. My eyes glaze over when someone starts talking about their Zwift exploits, and my thoughts then turn to kicking them in the junk. The only thing more pretentious than being a Zwift afficianado is constantly insisting to others that they need to get a fat bike in the winter to ride on the snow.

Stories like Jay Vine's have the Zwifters hard as a rock thinking that they'll get a pro contract like him based on wattage alone.

1458053729

 ( https://ultimatehistoryvideogames.jimdofree.com/atari-puffer/ )

3
hogfly
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Fayetteville, AR US
1/19/2023 7:19am Edited Date/Time 1/19/2023 7:19am

We are living in a simulation with a really bad sense of humor. The Esports Natties are on the books... but still no word on location for actual MTB Nats... and only some vague possible weekends for dates.

And when number of entries is complete ass this year, they're going to probably use those numbers to say that the popularity of MTB racing is declining, while gravel is booming, or some such nonsense... ignoring the fact that they didn't release venue or definite weekends until a few months before the actual races. I can just hear the debrief meetings now:

 

"Well...it just doesn't seem like riders really have much of an appetite for gravity national championships... "

 

BertB
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Location
Albuquerque, NM US
1/19/2023 5:31pm

NORBA still hates you.  Big thanks to all the organizers putting together legit local and regional series outside of the USAC nonsense.

1
grambo
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CA
1/20/2023 11:26am

Even with the power calibration and weigh in, it would be so easy to cheat (manipulate/program scale, fuck with power config after filming the config) since there's no chain of custody or security from the organizer to the equipment being used. Idiots "weight dope" in Zwift already in recreational races, it's embarrassing really. Same with esports in general, lots of cheating by players to gain cred/ranking in the community.

I agree there's benefit to esports, especially for disabled kids, but not sure on school teams yet. I played competitive counter-strike growing up (yeah I'm a nerd) and for sure you learn some valuable skills, but the big issue is the amount of time it ends up taking from kids lives who get serious about it. The pros are playing/training 8-12 hours a day, and yeah they are making money, but that is not a healthy example for kids to emulate. Academic study and physical activity need to be the priorities.

1

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