For the Love of the Game: Why 78-year-old eSports World Champ DieHardBirdie Urges your Grandpa (and Grandma!) to play Counter-Strike
World champions are trailblazers and innovators as they excel in their field of expertise with training, discipline, hard work, and passion. In any sport or industry, being old or young does not necessarily guarantee that victory is within reach.
Presenting Abbe “DieHardBirdie” Borg, the oldest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) world champion today at the age of 78 years old.
Get to know more about the coolest senior esports world champion and why he promotes video gaming as a way for families and people from different generations to bond and build closer ties.
Q: What is the story behind your nickname, Die Hard Birdie?
Die Hard Birdie: Diehard because I’m hardcore. I’m determined and I’m committed. I think the name Birdie speaks for itself. I have this knack for imitating bird sounds while whistling with a leaf, piece of paper, or plastic. I can actually mimic all sorts of bird sounds. When my son was growing up, I came up with a distinct bird call, so he would know where to find me in case we would get separated in the supermarket.
DieHardBirdie aptly describes my gaming personality— or my personality in general. It shows my tough no-nonsense side and my soft playful side.
Q: How did you learn to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? Which aspect of the game caught your attention? Was the training difficult?
DHB: I started four years ago. Lenovo signed me up to play for their team along with fellow seniors in Sweden. I had loads of fun from the get-go but I never thought we would actually bag the championship last year. How’s that for a noob?
I like playing CS:GO because I get a bang out of playing with kickass gamers. I mean it’s an adrenalin-pumping action game. Heaven knows, the number of times I got my butt kicked but I kept at it. You know why? Because the juice is where the action is. You can never enjoy the sweet taste of victory if you haven’t experienced the agony of defeat. I’d say this game has taught me resilience.
In any sport, training is important. I broke buckets of sweat for this. I practiced two hours a day, five times a week. I trained my fingers to move fast. Of course, you know that dexterity is crucial in this game. Also, one of the cool parts of my training was playing against bots or AI. I was dubbed the Fastest Fingers in the West because of all the hard work I put into the game. I also learned about the art of communication.
Getting your message across is vital in creating plays, using tactics and securing victories. CS: GO is in fact, a solo and a team sport. So the communication aspect is quite important too.
Q: Awesome. Given these benefits, are you encouraging the gamers, both young and old to keep playing?
Don’t get me wrong. Balance is always the key. You have to keep tabs on your gaming time. When I trained under the Lenovo Team along with my fellow seniors, we made sure we rested in between long hours of practice. You can have too much of a good thing, you know. So be responsible enough to put a lid on your gaming time — this one goes especially to the young ones. Don’t neglect your T4B! (*Time for Bed in gaming lingo)
Q: What would you like to say to your fellow senior citizens and the young gamers that have seen you play CS:GO?
DHB: To my fellow seniors and golden-agers, who says you’re too old to learn something new? I’m not just speaking for myself. I have met octogenarians who have taken the video gaming plunge and their decision has clearly paid off. So don’t be scared to break stereotypes. Video gaming is not just for the young. Go, give it a shot and reap the benefits!
To the young ones: Keep on playing and honing that skill. Don’t be afraid to lose. Be persistent but temper that fire inside you. Balance is key. Take care of your health, say no to drugs and just have fun! And please, WYL! (*Watch Your Language)
Q: There seems to be no sign of slowing down. What are your future plans and what’s next for Die Hard Birdie after bagging the World Championship?
DHB: There’s no holding this old chap. I have recently set up my Twitch account, DieHardBirdie. You can follow me, show support, and watch my streams live at 5:00 P.M. EST and 11:00 P.M. EST.
I am also creating my own team called the “Die Hard Snipers” and I have started recruiting my team members. I am looking into recruiting military and police veterans aged 50 and above to join my team. These guys already have a solid bedrock of indispensable survival skills and it’s second nature to them not to get hit — it goes without saying that it’s very helpful in playing and winning the game. We can have a lot of fun learning from each other.
For those interested to join my team, reach out to me. I am waiting. Get drafted and let’s all have a blast!
By: The Soho Loft Media Group