He might be living in Fort St. James but when playing the videogame Overwatch, Randal Stark enters another world.
Overwatch is set 60 years into the future in a fictionalized version of Earth that takes place 30 years after the “Omnic Crisis”. This is when the development of lethal and hostile robots turned against humanity.
The United Nations formed an international task force called Overwatch to combat the Omnic Threat and bring order back to Earth.
And it’s in this world that Stark has spent most of his time these last few months.
The 21-year-old who was born and raised in Fort St. James, was invited to test the game by its developer.
“I was invited to test Overwatch last November and after loving the game Oblivion so much, I decided to give this one a try and that was it, I was hooked,” Stark said.
Stark is thrilled to be competing in the Overwatch Open which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on Sept. 23.
“I’ll be there for about two weeks and I’ll be practising a lot before then,” Stark said.
The Overwatch Open is comprised of an on-line phase run by FACEIT for European and North American teams as well as regional and grand finals that will take place in Atlanta. The grand final will be presented live on TBS. Competitors will be eligible to win $300,000 making this the largest Overwatch competition to date.
Stark is excited to be part of one of the last eight teams competing.
“It’s amazing to make it this far. There are eight teams left from North America and eight teams from Europe competing,” Stark said.
“I am one of six players on my team with another Canadian from Montreal, one from Brazil and the rest are from the States.”
It’s no surprise that with all of his experience, Stark has grown to love the game.
“My favorite character is Zenyatta,” Stark says.
Overwatch features a colourful cast of 22 unique super heroes who possess their own unique weapons and powers.
So how did Stark begin this love of gaming?
“My dad introduced me when I was young. I used to play on the Nintendo 64 and played games like Mario,” Stark said.
“My family and friends think it’s pretty cool that I’m competing. Everyone is pretty excited.”
When not playing himself, Stark spends his time watching other players and studies their every move.
“I’m so excited about the tournament. The game is growing so much in popularity. I’d like to compete for as long as possible.”