Quarterfinal finish at the FIFA19 Copa América Online for Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago football has not had much to celebrate for some time now, which is an entirely different topic altogether. In short, Trinidad & Tobago’s senior men’s team were soundly beaten at the Gold Cup and the youth teams were recently handed some tough lessons in the recent invitational tournament held by the football association. Over the last, twenty or more years, millions of dollar have been invested in football and other sports and yet there is nothing much in terms of quantifiable or intangible benefits to show. While the bickering, corruption and endless cases of corruption continue to make the headlines, one guy under appreciated an overlooked managed to give Trinidad & Tobago a quarterfinal finish at the recently concluded FIFA19 Copa America tournament online and no one is talking about it. Flying the flag of his nation among others with no support except for the few individuals who have been working feverishly to get the field acknowledged, he represented the nation proudly in a highly competitive tournament. Javon Charles known by his handle “Slick” was one of four representatives who did the nation proud. This was not the first time these guys did well in the ESports arena which is massively popular and globally recognized not just in FIFA but other games as well.
The tournament started in 2015 teams with the following teams competing Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Chile, and Trinidad & Tobago. Trinidad & Tobago has had 7 representatives in the 2016 edition of the tournament in 2019 the number of representatives was narrowed down to just 4. The following representatives were Javon Charles aka Slick, Bevon Julien aka Lao, Joahnness aka Bloody and Civaughn Dimsoy aka Linx. Outside the obligatory snippet and odd mention, this field is criminally misunderstood and even dismissed by many, either based on either lack of knowledge of ESports or basing an opinion on outdated stereotypes about gamers. Javon Charles like many others totally smash that cliche stereotype, Slick, as he is known in the gaming world, plays cricket and has represented Trinidad & Tobago at national youth levels. He is also currently the captain of his team in Morvant that came 4th this season.
So why is the mainstream media not talking about this? The headlines are bombarded with negativity and other sports with massive budgets have failed to translate those investments into anything significant in recent times. Of course in true non-proactive fashion, our nation will acknowledge these E Gamers when they are praised internationally, E-Sports is a massive multi-billion dollar industry and yet it is treated with a dismissive condescension by the media and the general public of Trinidad & Tobago, mainly as stated before due to the lack of understanding of this booming industry. In a country filled with problems these people are one of the few rays of sunshine in recent times and connect with the younger generations in a way that is quite healthy. Young people now have the option to pursue something that is not only fun but this industry can also stimulate economic and employment growth in a country that is in dire need of this. The FIFA Interactive World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and the Copa Libertadores are just many examples of how massive these tournaments are. One of Slicks colleagues Bevon Julien aka “Lao” won the 2016 edition of the Copa Libertadores called the Copa Libertadores Communicado and has been quite successful in local and regional competitions. Like it or now E-Sports is a world-recognized sport and is quite a lucrative business, so whether you understand it or not it is here and it has taken over the world and hopefully this time Trinidad & Tobago will be proactive and not reactive and support this industry and these men who are representing our nation well in this arena.
Check out Slicks Interview with EXTV discussing the Copa América Online HERE
Follow Javon Charles aka “Slick” on Instagram HERE
ESPNFC’S Shaka Hislop chats with EXTV about E-Sports HERE
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