20 April 2023

The Most Mysterious Esports Superstitions and Curses

The world of competitive gaming is undergoing a boom time the likes of which we’ve never seen before. This industry, which was valued in the hundreds of thousands in the 2010s, now commands a market presence in excess of $1 billion, and is projected to break $3 billion by the end of the decade.

In fact, esports is objectively considered to be the fastest growing sport in the world today. In so doing, it outstrips the likes of T20 cricket, which made headlines in 2022 for a record breaking broadcast deal that made it the most valuable licensed sport globally with the exception of only the NFL and MMA— which for over two decades has been irrevocably supplanting boxing as the world’s favorite combat sport. 

Esports’ rapid growth even carries over into wagers, with the comparison platform OddsChecker citing the sport as its fastest growing metric year-on-year for betting volume since 2020. Online bookmakers now offer more markets for esports than ever before, with free bets available to use on competitive gaming events, attracting traditional sports fans as well as a new demographic.

While most people only began to regularly hear about esports in the past few years, the community has been around for as long as there have been games to compete in. Over that multi-decade span of time, legendary teams and players have earned their stripes, globe-spanning events and tournaments have risen to prominence, and select games and genres have grown in prestige.

Image Credit Hypernia

Alongside all this myth-making comes a more enigmatic dimension to the scene—that of superstitions, and, depending on who you ask, even curses. This should come as no surprise to sporting fans. From the FIFA World Cup Champion’s Curse, to Michael Jordan wearing his NCAA shorts beneath his Bulls attire, beliefs in hidden forces underlie much of the supposedly rational sporting industry, and competitive gaming is no exception. 

Below we’re going to take a run down of the most surprising, mysterious and intriguing superstitions and curses held to be common knowledge among the esports faithful. While some of these are found in the wider sporting world, others are altogether unique to the world of competitive gaming.

Always the Bridesmaid

There is a popular superstition in the community which suggests that players or teams that habitually finish second place in tournaments may ultimately be doomed to repeat this pattern indefinitely, failing to break through to achieve definitive victory. 

Prominent examples of include Lee ‘INnoVation’ Shin Hyung’s struggle to place higher than second in top flight StarCraft II tournaments in 2013, while in League of Legends the ROX Tigers enjoyed a consistent run of form that saw them place second in both 2015 and 2016, despite being considered favorites for first place.

The Caster’s Curse

This popularly held belief maintains that when a commentator praises the performance of a player in-game, this can in effect jinx them and cause their present success to falter. 

For example, in the 2018 North American LCS Summer Split, a broadcaster praised Team Liquid player Pobelter for his skilled use of the character Malzahar. Immediately afterwards, Pobelter made a crucial mistake that resulted in him being killed and the team losing the game.

Underdog’s Advantage

Another superstition that is commonly found across the sporting world is the underdog advantage. This purports that teams or players deemed unlikely to succeed on merit or previous track record can often cause a surprise upset by defeating tournament favorites in top flight bouts. 

In the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, a minor team from Central Asia—Albus NoX Luna—broke through to the knockout stages with a series of surprise upsets that saw them best the likes of ROX Tigers and Counter Logic Gaming. 

Likewise, one of the major stories of The International 2018 was the success of Team OG. Despite an impressive squad, including Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein and Jesse ‘JerAx’ Vainikka, a series of setbacks and roster changes made them rank outsiders who miraculously went on to walk away with what was, at the time, the largest single prize pool in esports history.

9 April 2023

Cerro de los Siete Colores - The Hill of Seven Colors

The colors could have come from the palette of a painter. Yet the Cerro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colors) is quite real.

Millions of years of geological activity followed by erosion have created something magnificent on this Argentinian hillside.

Marine sediments combined with lake and river flows, elevated with the movement of the tectonic plates, combine to produce a dazzling array of color for the eyes to take in.

William Shakespeare Presents: Terminator the Second

I think I may have been waiting for this all my life.  An unashamed fan of The Bard – not to mention The Terminator movies this hybrid of the two combines Shakespeare and Schwarzenegger seamlessly.  In fact, William Shakespeare Presents Terminator the Second is the premiere production of the Nashville performance collective, Husky Jackal Theater. A product of nearly a year of exploration and alteration, the script tells the strange history of a boy and his cyborg guardian completely in lines and phrases taken from the works of William Shakespeare.

Each line and phrase is taken from original folios, with only proper nouns, pronouns and corresponding verb tenses subject to change. In doing so, the authors were able to accurately recreate the story of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, while remaining true to the words of Shakespeare in form, if less so in intent.

I have never really felt the need to live in, move to or even visit Nashville before now, but that is where WSP: TTS (brevity being the soul of wit as Will would say) is going to be previewed on October 22 – at the Belcourt Theater

The film above was made in front of a small audience to promote the show and received standing ovations worthy of a Springsteen-at-his-peak concert. It looks like it is all done with tongue firmly in cheek and despite being a parody, with great fondness both for the works of William and of Arnold. I guess I am just going to have to make do with this wonderful preview instead…

The Ennedi Plateau: Secret Stones of the Sahara


Rising from the sands of the great Sahara Desert, the Ennedi Plateau is a revelation.  Situated in the north east of Chad and surrounded by sand on all sides, this extraordinary, other-worldly place presents vista after vista of stunning rock formations.
Ennedi is little visited – there is nothing you could realistically call a road for many miles. The plateau is frequented only by local nomads and a handful of foreign visitors in their 4x4s.

Yet even though the landscape resembles somewhere the crew of the Enterprise might find themselves on an away mission, these rocks – as you will see - hide something perhaps even more astonishing.

Welcome to London - A Short Hyperlapse Film

Take a trip around London without getting out of your chair.  This wonderful hyperlapse by Mattia Bicchi features a number of the English capital’s well-known architectural features including a stunning shot of Tower Bridge.

Hyperlapse really is a labor of love so many thanks to Mattia for this superb example of a fairly new form.

243 Titles of Animated Feature Films

If you love animated movies then this is going to be an absolute treat for you.  Put together for the first (and probably last) time are 243 titles of animated movies.  Just the titles, one after the other – so blink and you will miss them.

This uber cool compilation was put together by Irina Neustroeva – and if you want to see the whole list, click here.

Death in D Minor

Some people are taken too early.  Jones has lived to a ripe old age but resents the death of his army buddy decades earlier. He has spent the intervening years planning something of a unique defense system. When death comes knocking, he is not going to go without a fight.  This animated short by five students from The One Academy does not conclude until after the credits, so keep watching right till the end.


Horrie is old. His wife is dead.  His dog is dead. Yet he has life in him yet and decides that perhaps it is time to date again.  He finds the woman (with dog) of his dreams in a dating magazine but soon realises that her expectations may be greater than what he has to offer.  So, Horrie embarks on a makeover of such extremes it may make you wince but I can assure you that the denouement of this funny short film, written and directed by Don Percy, will make you smile.

1 April 2023

MTO – Street Art Labor Intensity

His mother calls him Mateo but most of the world knows the mysterious street artist whose extraordinary work you see here as MTO.   French born but Berlin based, MTO’s work is characterized by incredibly detailed renditions of über cool actors and musicians with a dash of red as his signature or around his work as a signifier of its boundaries (we are guessing to allow other artists to work around him).

A visit to the Spanish city of Barcelona was the kick-start for MTO’s work on the streets.  There, the vibrancy of the city’s exterior culture inspired him to create. Yet his work, although labeled street art, goes way beyond graffiti.

Nuttin Else Matters

When all you have on your mind is your next nut the last thing you want is to be captured by a nutty human girl who is intent on dressing you up as her heroes.  However, such is life for this poor squirrel in this funny animated short by Sebastian Pfeifer.

This animation features ‘appearances’ by Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, Arielle, Alien, Hulk, Rambo, Wonderwoman, Darth Vader, Jason, Mary Poppins, Dr. Evil, King Kong, the Terminator, Psycho, Edward Sscissorhands and Raoul Duke.  It’s nuts.


When you’re a house-dog you don’t get to go out much, perhaps not at all if your human is a workaholic who can’t keep his eyes open most of the time. So for this dog, the discovery that there is a world outside of his cooped-up four walls is a revelation which creates an insatiable thirst in him to travel.  This entertaining not to mention thought-provoking animation was written, animated and directed by Mike A Smith.

What are the Advantages of RFID Chips?

Radio Frequency Identification chips embed processor in to everyday objects but what are their advantages? Here we take a look at 8 advantages in a short video I put together for my students (I’m a teacher in the ‘real’ world).  This is aimed at Level 2 BTEC students so is more of an introduction than an in-depth look and works towards their Online World exam.

 Although there are also many disadvantages to RFID (which I hope to go in to in another video as people get truly het up about these things!) this only puts one side of the story across!