Skip to main content

Meet the Counter Strike e-sports team where everyone is over 60

Meet the Counter Strike e-sports team where everyone is over 60

/

They’re called the Silver Snipers

Share this story

Silver Snipers
Image: Lenovo

Earlier this year, Monica Idenfors stumbled upon a strange ad. It was a call for seniors interested in joining an e-sports team, with the goal of competing in a Counter Strike tournament at the Dreamhack digital festival in Sweden. As a recent retiree, Idenfors thought it sounded like an “exciting opportunity,” and a good way to spend her newfound free time. She signed up, and eventually joined as one of five members of a new squad cleverly named the Silver Snipers.

At 62-years-old, she was the youngest member of the team, but all the members had something in common beyond their age: none had ever played Counter Strike before. Once they started training, they had just three weeks to prepare for a tournament where they’d go up against players with years of experience.

Sponsored by Lenovo, the Silver Snipers were assembled with the explicit goal of broadening the audience of e-sports, which typically skews quite young. The team is coached by former Counter Strike pro Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson who, since retiring from playing, has started working as a manager. Most recently, he’s been mentoring students and other newcomers to the world of competitive gaming. The Silver Snipers presented an opportunity to take that concept even further, with a brand new demographic. “We want everyone to be involved,” Ingemarsson says.

Nicknames include ‘Knitting Knight’ and ‘Teen Slayer’

But first came the training. Three weeks isn’t much time for anyone to prepare for a tournament, let alone complete newcomers who had little experience with video games before. Ingemarsson describes the practices as “very intensive.” Before getting into strategies, he first had to teach the group the basics, like how to adjust settings, how to properly aim, recognizing who is actually your opponent, and more.

Silver Snipers
Image: Lenovo

But the group — who range in age from 62 to 81 — took things very seriously during their regular sessions at the Inferno Online gaming center in Stockholm. Team members would regularly come into the center with a list of questions for their coach, and one even printed up the CS:GO keyboard layout, and brought copies to share with his teammates so they could all memorize the game’s controls. “They actually were really passionate about it,” says Ingemarsson. They even came up with clever gamer nicknames. 63-year-old Wanja Godänge became “Knitting Knight,” while 81-year-old Bertil Englund went by the moniker “Berra-Bang.” As the baby of the group, Idenfors decided to go by “Teen Slayer.”

As a hardcore, violent first-person shooter, Counter Strike might seem like a strange choice to indoctrinate people to e-sports, but Ingemarsson believes it’s much more straightforward than other popular competitive games like Overwatch or League of Legends. “It’s classified as a hardcore game,” he says, “but if you look at the top e-sports games, I think Counter Strike is the easiest one to get to know and understand the basics.”

“When I’m gaming it helps.”

Despite all of their enthusiasm, the tournament didn’t go so well. Up against teams with significantly more experience, the Silver Snipers lost both of their matches, though they did manage to win a round. “Knitting Knight” even scored a trio of headshots in one match. But the results were still positive. Idenfors says that the response from the gaming community was “so positive and warm,” while Lenovo claims it has received an uptick in seniors interested in joining the squad. Even Idenfors’ husband has said he wants to try his hand at Counter Strike now. Following the team’s relatively successful debut, Ingemarsson is planning to start offering free weekly lessons at Inferno Online for interested seniors.

As for the Silver Snipers, the plan is to get more serious. The team is in the process of organizing a more regular training schedule for 2018, and potentially moving into different games in the future. Idenfors says that taking a chance on that strange ad has helped her improve at some of her other hobbies, her training allowed her to develop new strategies for solitaire and mahjong. And learning how to pull off headshots in Counter Strike has also helped her relax. “I have days when I’m frustrated or anxious, but when I’m gaming it helps,” she says. “I feel good after.”

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 29 minutes ago Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma Roth29 minutes ago
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothTwo hours ago
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.