May game for eSports involvement

February 18th, 2017
Trevor May, who is battling for a rotation spot this spring, is an avid gamer. (AP)David Goldman/AP

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As a Twins pitcher and an avid gamer, knows plenty about what it takes to succeed in sports and eSports.

So the right-hander is lending his experience as an athlete into a new partnership with Luminosity Gaming, a professional eSports organization. May will be part of its "Stream Team" on, and he will serve as a brand ambassador.

May, who goes under the username "iamtrevormay" to allow fans to watch him play video games on Twitch, said he's not making any money under the current deal, but that it'll help him with his exposure among gamers and give him more credibility. Any money he does make along the way as a professional gamer will go to charity.

"It's a way to get myself into the community more and to be taken a little more seriously," May said. "eSports represents a large population of people who aren't athletes but like to compete. It's something that's been laughed off by traditional sports, but I think there's a lot of opportunity there for kids to make a career out of it or to get scholarships for college. It gives them a chance to follow their dream."

As May noted, professional gamers can make a living and obtain college scholarships, but much of their earnings are based on tournaments, which can be held sporadically such as once a month. May would like to help eSports grow into something more resembling professional sports, with daily tournaments and even better ways to scout and develop video game players.

"I think a lot of expertise from baseball and being around it I think I can carry over," May said. "I think a lot of eSports teams are trying to make that connection. Professional players are always looking for tournaments as a way to make money, but not a ton of them exist right now. Maybe once a month. Ideally, they'd like to play every day. That's how playing professionally could be a thing."

May plans to host his own competition with prizes out of his own pocket on Sunday, with a three-on-three Overwatch tournament that's set to feature a mix of professional and amateur players. May is a regular player of Overwatch, often streaming himself playing the game. But this time, he'll serve simply as the host and the play-by-play commentator.

"I'm going to be broadcasting and commentating, so it should be hilarious," May said. "It's going to be a once-a-month thing. It's not huge, but it's starting to gain some traction. It's a trial run, so hopefully we get some sponsors and people behind it."

May, who is competing for a spot in Minnesota's rotation this spring, pointed out that much of his gaming takes place during the offseason and that he doesn't allow it to interfere with his job with the Twins. It's a hobby and creative outlet for May, who enjoys interacting with fellow gamers who share a similar passion.

"I've just fallen in love with streaming," May said. "I've never not had a good time doing it. In no way, shape or form does this distract me from playing baseball. It all comes together. It's part of building 24-hour excitement as part of my life. It's a lot of fun."