Video games take Lismore man to Russia
PLAYING video games was once confined to homes and arcades: now it takes place in large venues and is streamed across the globe.
This is a reality for Lismore local Kieren Moore who lives part-time in a world known as World of Tanks (WoT), dedicated to armoured warfare in the middle of the 20th century, where players can control a , tank destroyer or self-propelled gun with the aim to destroy each other.
And it's taking him to Moscow, Russia.
Kieren and his team mates , collectively known as 'Team Efficiency', compete in the gold (highest) wargaming league and have recently returned from Taiwan after competing in the Asia Pacific league finals where they took home 25,000 US as 2nd place prize.
Originally a "play for fun" team, the now semi-professional Efficiency will go up in their first ever grand final against the best league dominating teams from Europe and Russia.
Team training for WoT involves three hour sessions four days a week where they work out tactics and movements for their competitive games.
Kieren started playing a year and a half ago when a friend asked him to join the team.
"I played one season and was hooked on playing the league rather than the game," he said.
"Our first win was a big surprise for us as a long time bottom rung team, we went into the finals just happy to be there."
Aside from the travel opportunities, WoT has other draw cards as a social game.
"As a lot of my team mates are live streamers we gain access to a lot of international players- from the top players to the worst- there is a lot of fun banter," Kieren said.
"Next season we are hoping to stay in 2nd rank and challenge first position."