All-Ireland club finals schedule announced

first_imgAt 2 o’clock Na Piarsaigh of Limerick take on Ruari Og Cushendall of Antrim in the hurling deciderWhile at 4 Dublin and Leinster champions Ballyboden Saint Endas face Castlebar Mitchels of Mayo in the football final.Ballyboden beat Clonmel Commercials 0-15c to 0-10 after extra-time to reach the decider at GAA HQ.last_img

Dr. Florian Block – University of York – Researching esports

first_imgDr. Florian Block has been a Research Fellow in Interactive Media and Digital Creativity Labs at University of York since January 2016. As part of this appointment, Florian became a full-time Researcher at the Digital Creativity Hub.Florian and the team at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television have made their first big move into esports with the fairly recent news that the University of York and ESL will be teaming up to introduce an esports content production at the University.Florian will also be on the ‘UK Esports, a land of opportunity’ panel at ESI Birmingham on May 24th, where he will be joined by Roy Meredith, Senior Business Development Manager at  West Midlands Growth Company and Ben Woodward, Co-founder of Code Red Esports.We had a chance to chat with Florian ahead of ESI Birmingham, about what attracted the University to esports, why he choose ESI Birmingham to speak at and what he thinks other universities have to look forward to in esports.Esports Insider: Start off by telling us a little about you and your work.Florian Block: My PhD is in Human Computer Interaction – essentially trying to understand how we can improve the way we interact with all kinds of electronic devices, from PCs to mobile phones and tablets. But over the last decade, first at Harvard University and then at the University of York, my research has been more and more about using interactive technology and visualisation to help people extract insights from data.I know it feels a bit “buzz-wordy”, but being able to work with data is so important in today’s society. It was ultimately data that got me interested in esports, which is full of high-quality data that actually contains very valuable information. In particular, I got interested in the creative use of data in esports – how content creators use data to tell stories about exciting performances.“We have a lot more stuff in the pipeline that really excites us and that we will hopefully be able to share with the community soon.”Over the last two years, I have been privileged to lead the esports research team at the Digital Creativity Labs, where I am surrounded with amazing colleagues and sparky students from across User Experience Design, Data Visualisation, Artificial Intelligence, Game Analytics, Psychology, Sociology and Gamification.Together, we have been exploring the value of data in esports thoroughly over the last two years and were lucky to work with many exciting people and entities in the esports industry. A personal highlight was the launch of our Echo tool at ESL One in Hamburg last year. Echo automatically compares real-time data with historic match data to detect extraordinary performances and provides a direct way of creating graphics for the audience. We have a lot more stuff in the pipeline that really excites us and that we will hopefully be able to share with the community soon.ESI: The University of York has announced a partnership with ESL to ‘Pioneer education in esports content’ how did the deal come about and what does it mean for York University and any future esports endeavours? Florian: As we were closely collaborating with ESL on various research projects it became evident that the industry was desperate for talent that understood broadcast, storytelling and games, but that no university offered a formalised pathway in this area.I know there have been quite a few universities out there starting to offer esports courses, but at York, we have two excellent established programmes that bring us into a unique position to pioneer teaching in esports content production. The first is our BSc in Interactive Media, which has a strong component of digital games, equally involving design and technical aspects of creating interactive experiences, while at the same time considering the humanities, i.e. understanding games culture.“A personal highlight was the launch of our Echo tool at ESL One in Hamburg last year. Echo automatically compares real-time data with historic match data to detect extraordinary performances and provides a direct way of creating graphics for the audience”The second programme relevant to esports is our BSc in Film and TV Production, which, among many things, covers technical aspects of production, storytelling, and engaging audiences. So when we partnered with ESL, it came very naturally to create specialisations options that allow students from both programmes to join forces in the third year to get a solid head start if they want to pursue careers in the esports industry.Everyone from ESL was amazing to work with in developing this module, and they will be actively involved in delivering the content – which is really exciting for our students. Also, the support and enthusiasm for this module by really prominent personalities in esports are amazing, so there will be some real gems in there!ESI: What has attracted you and the team at York University to turn your attention to esports?Florian: I have touched upon this in a previous response, but the Digital Creativity Labs are all about the convergence between digital games and interactive media – by that we mean that games feel increasingly more like interactive stories, and experiences around games are increasingly not just playing but watching and sharing.“I feel really passionate about the UK as an innovation hub in esports, and think we have the perfect ingredients all across the UK to drive disruptive technology and new audience experiences in esports”The esports industry is a poster child of this trend, and much of our research has applications in esports.ESI: Many universities have started to welcome esports, do you foresee this trend continuing and what advice would you give to any university looking at esports?Florian: I think it makes perfect sense that with a rapidly growing industry and the numerous highly skilled jobs they create, universities will develop more and more formalised paths in higher education. It is really our responsibility to build talent that is ready for an evolving job landscape, and the creative industries, in general, are a crucial part of the UK’s economy. So yes, I think there will be much more to come, and at the University of York, we will continue to develop our offering responsibly.I think my biggest advice for universities getting into esports is to work closely with the industry, understand their needs, and make sure you create offerings that actually get students well-paying jobs. After all, it is our primary responsibility to give the students the best start in their professional career as we can. It doesn’t take much to create a buzzy module for the purpose of attracting students. But actually developing this module so that it is relevant, constantly up-to-date, reflects industry needs and gives your students an edge over their competition is really hard. We have worked two years our this module, making sure it aligns with industry needs while having a high academic standard.“We teach our students broad skills that make them strong candidates for jobs across the creative industries and provide them with opportunities to specialise in esports in their final year.”More crucially, we have decided to approach esports as a specialisation of much broader existing programmes, instead of creating a dedicated BSc or MSc. Even though the esports industry is growing, there are only a limited number of highly skilled jobs. It would be irresponsible for us to output hundreds of students each year who may not get a job in esports and are too specialised to find a good job in another area.Instead, we teach our students broad skills that make them strong candidates for jobs across the creative industries and provide them with opportunities to specialise in esports in their final year. We think this is the responsible way forward, and best leverages the pedagogic strengths and research expertise we have here at the University of York and Digital Creativity Labs.Florian will be amongst 25+ top speakers at this one day business symposium on May 24th tied in with ESL One BirminghamESI: You are one of the people attending ESI Birmingham on May 24th, what made you choose that event?Florian: I was very pleased to be asked to be asked to be on the panel on “UK Esports, a land of opportunity”.I feel really passionate about the UK as an innovation hub in esports, and think we have the perfect ingredients all across the UK to drive disruptive technology and new audience experiences in esports. I am very much looking forward to ESI and meeting new people who share this passion.ESI: What do you hope to achieve from your attendance at the event in Birmingham?Florian: As part of our mission to drive world-leading research and teaching in esports it is crucial to be out there and understand the pains, opportunities and visions of the industry. I think I will learn a lot from ESI. At the same time, the Digital Creativity Labs are the biggest games research hub in the UK, and we always looking for new collaborations.We have a great track-record of working with industry and pushing out cutting-edge technology into their products. We have only just scratched the surface of what Artificial Intelligence, Data-Driven Storytelling and Interactive Experiences can do to create new experiences for esports fans, and want to continue to push the envelope in this space. I am very much looking forward to making new connections.ESI: Do you have any closing words?Florian: Thanks for reaching out and inviting us to ESI – we are extremely pleased to be able to make a contribution. Esports really feels like a truly unique opportunity for academia and industry to join forces to shape how mainstream entertainment will look like in the next few decades. The last two years have been an amazing ride, and we look forward to working with the industry in the years to come!You can keep up to date with Florian’s research over at his personal site and the University of York. You can also catch Florian speaking at ESI Birmingham from May 24thlast_img read more

What do you make of this team? A Chelsea XI made up of loanees

first_img Striker: Tammy Abraham – After scoring 26 goals in a struggling Bristol City side last season the 19-year-old has caught the eye. In the end Swansea managed to sign the exciting forward on loan for the season and, in former Chelsea youth coach Paul Clement, you would think Abraham would get plenty of opportunity. Before he made the move to Wales, the England Under-21 international signed a new five-year contract at Stamford Bridge. 11 11 11 Left-wing: Isaiah Brown – After helping Huddersfield to promotion last season it looks as if Brown could join fellow Premier League newcomers Brighton on loan very soon. Brown turned out for Rotherham in the first half of last season, before being snapped up by Wagner, but you sense now is the time for the 20-year-old to make his top tier breakthrough. Capable of playing in the middle or out on the left, Brown’s proposed arrival at Chris Hughton’s side could help the Seagulls no end. Centre-midfield: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – One of the brightest prospects from the Chelsea academy has struggled to get regular game time at the Blues and looks set to sign a season-long loan deal at Crystal Palace. The midfielder missed out on the Under-21 European Championship with injury but, once the move to Selhurst Park is complete, he can hit the ground running and show what he is all about. He should become manager Frank de Boer’s first signing at Palace and Chelsea will no doubt keep an eye on the man tipped for a big future. Centre-back: Michael Hector – Hector was a deadline day signing for Chelsea in the summer 2015 transfer window from Reading but was immediately loaned back to the Royals. Last season he went to Germany to star for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga but he looks likely to head out once again for this upcoming season. Reports suggest Championship side Nottingham Forest are keen on bringing in the Jamaican international. 11 Centre-back: Tomas Kalas – The Czech defender has shown himself to be highly capable in the Championship after his time at Middlesbrough, which saw them promoted, and last season at Fulham where they fell just short. Now 24 years old, the defender looks like he could return to Fulham on loan but Hull City are also very keen. New Tigers boss Leonid Slutsky is friendly with Roman Abramovich and while he would prefer a loan deal for Kalas he could move permanently. 11 Left-back: Baba Rahman – The Blues seem to buy a new left-back every summer and the man to arrive in 2015 was Rahman from Augsburg. Last season the Ghanaian went on loan to Schalke but his time was disrupted by injury. However, with Marcos Alonso ahead of him, and the possible incoming of Alex Sandro from Juventus, Rahman looks likely to seal a loan return to Gelsenkirchen according to reports. 11 11 11 It’s been well documented the amount of talent Chelsea have amongst their youth ranks and their loan system has come in for plenty of criticism.This summer appears to be no different with several players already agreeing to loan deals and a number of others looking highly likely to be sent out to other sides.Hull City have recently signed Ola Aina from the Blues and Ruben Loftus-Cheek appears to be on the verge of signing for Crystal Palace.Here, talkSPORT has put together an XI, in a 4-2-3-1 formation, made of Chelsea players currently on loan or who look likely to do so.Scroll through the gallery above to take a look.  11 11 Right-back: Todd Kane – The Chelsea youth prospect signed his first professional contract in 2011 and has now been on six separate loan spells since then. Last season Kane spent time in Holland playing for NEC Nijmegen but his spell was cut short with injury after he had initially impressed. This season the full-back, now 23, has decided to head back to the Dutch league and will turn out for FC Groningen on a season-long loan. Right-wing: Kasey Palmer – The Chelsea man has returned to Huddersfield on-loan after spending last season at the Terriers. Following the success of promotion under David Wagner, 20-year-old Palmer was keen to head back to the John Smith’s Stadium. His wish was granted earlier this month as he came back on loan shortly after signing a new four-year Chelsea contract. Centre-midfield: Charlie Colkett – After spending time at Swindon Town last season, 20-year-old Colkett will spend this upcoming campaign at Vitesse Arnhem. In doing so the midfielder will be the latest Chelsea prospect to travel to the Eredivisie side for development. With Swindon relegated last season he will hope for a far more positive experience this time around. Goalkeeper: Jamal Blackman – click right for the full XI – The 23-year-old youth academy product has been sent out on three loan spells before, the most successful of which was last year at Wycombe Wanderers. Blackman was first choice for Gareth Ainsworth’s side and the keeper has expressed he would be open to a return if granted the opportunity. Either way the shot stopper will most likely be loaned out once again this season. Attacking midfield: Lewis Baker – During a two-year loan at Vitesse Arnhem, the England Under-21 star became a fan favourite in Holland and helped the side to the Dutch Cup – their first ever trophy. Now that he has returned he is looking to break into English football and reports suggest he could sign a new contract before heading out on loan to a Premier League team. Baker is now 22 and his move this summer will be crucial in determining the player he will become. 11last_img read more