By The Soho Loft Editorial Team
Introducing #DieHardBirdie, Sweden-based CS: GO senior world champ, and why he is promoting eSports gaming to the elderly, especially grandparents and parents.
For regular readers, he is known as one of the oldest eSports world champions. For avid fans of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), he is known as “DieHardBirdie” and dubbed as the fastest fingers in the West.
Get to know more about the 78-year-old world champion Abbe “DieHardBirdie” Borg as he dishes on his life experiences and being a trailblazer for playing eSports.
When did you start playing, Abbe?
I played ping pong and Mario decades ago. I don’t remember exactly when that was.
What are some of the things you love and enjoy in playing video games? And counter-strike in particular?
I think it’s cool that nobody gets any serious injuries when playing video games. I mean, have you heard of anyone getting badly hurt in video gaming? It goes without saying that this sport has the lowest physical injury level. That’s one of the things I enjoy about it.
When I am playing Counter-strike I get a kick out of living in the world of military tactics and strategy which I don’t have the chance to do in real life. But beyond that, counter-strike offers a beautiful narrative that transcends the military and crosses over to life in general. We do not play the game of life so that we win as the world defines winning. We win because we keep playing it. Lose or win, we keep at it…and that’s where the joy comes in. When we do it for the heck of doing it and not for any ulterior motive. So in counter-strike, we should not be afraid to die many times. Maybe in real life that would be a metaphor for dying to self many times.
As an artist and an art lover who appreciates design, architecture, and the beauty of dance and form, this game provides excellent visual stimulation and aesthetic inspiration in these aspects. When I peep through the scope of the sniper rifle, machine gun, or pistol I experience the beauty and poetry in the perfect aim. Throwing the grenade or using the knife requires economy of movement and a sense of balance and agility.
Why did you start playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?
What I love best about playing video games is engaging with teenagers. People my age have lost touch with the younger generation. Getting into video gaming has bridged that huge void between our worlds. I’d say my biggest joy is being able to interact and connect with the younger generation. That’s why I started playing, mainly to overcome the age and experience gap. Of course, you must have guessed that this game is a lot of fun, even for old chaps like me.
You’ve recently joined Twitch. What do you think about the streaming platform and how CS:GO is becoming the most viewed game on Twitch?
Yes, I joined Twitch. I have just started to stream my gameplays on my channel at https://twitch.tv/diehardbirdie. I go live daily every 5 to 7 pm EST. And yes, CS:GO is without a doubt the most viewed game on Twitch and even on YouTube. You’ll see tons of fans, streamers, and influencers watching and interacting on the platform. I must say CS:GO has taken the world by storm. If I’m not mistaken, there are over 400 million active users in eSports worldwide and Twitch allows these people to watch games online. I think there’s a massive growth opportunity in the eSports industry in the years to come. I believe more people will get involved and play these games and more brands will take part in this industry.
What are the benefits of playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and other eSports?
I can name a lot of benefits. First of all, it has made my mind sharper. The strategic collaborations with the team and adrenalin pumping excitement have kept my mind active. Secondly, I got faster reflexes; my knee-jerk reactions are quicker. Third, my balance and hand-eye coordination have drastically improved 10 times over. Not bad, huh? So I’m encouraging the readers to convince their old folks to give Counter-Strike a go — it’s an incredible mental as well as physical exercise. My overall health has actually improved!
On top of that, playing online games is the best way to socialize and bond with others, not to mention the young ones. As you know, winters in Sweden are colder and nights are longer. What better way to promote friendship and camaraderie among your teammates? That’s another benefit.
In addition, I have learned a lot from the younger generations as I worked towards becoming the best gamer there is. And I’d say the biggest perk of winning the world championship is being able to connect and touch base with the young ones. I cannot emphasize that well enough. Video gaming or eSports can link us with our kids and grandchildren and bring our families closer.
Lastly, it’s great to show others who are my age that, in a ripe old age of 78 years old, I can still keep up with modern technology. If I can do it then so can they! And yup, I’m too quick and too sharp to get beaten too!