NASCAR driver loses sponsor after rage quitting iRacing event - Dexerto

NASCAR driver loses sponsor after rage quitting iRacing event

Published: 6/Apr/2020 10:23 Updated: 28/Apr/2020 13:57

by Joe Craven


Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr, an American racing driver known for his success in America’s hugely popular NASCAR, has bizarrely lost a sponsor after rage quitting a virtual race on April 5. 

As a result of the ongoing global health crisis, NASCAR events are struggling to go ahead as planned. Subsequently NASCAR, as part of a wider theme across the world of sport, have turned to video games as a temporary solution. 


This saw a host of the sport’s most successful stars descend upon the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway. The race was ultimately won by William Byron, who led for 114 of the 150 total laps. However, the iRacing event also made headlines for a completely separate, and bizarre, reason. 

NASCAR is a hugely popular sport in America’s southern areas.

During the race, Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr crashed into the car being driven by fellow professional Clint Bowyer. This led to Bowyer proclaiming that he had been “Bubba’d” on the live FOX Sports broadcast. 


Wallace Jr did not take this comment lightly, however. In a now-deleted tweet, the 26-year-old stated: “That’s why I don’t take this s*** serious. Bye bye. Peace out!” He quickly quit the race and his stream went offline. 

This move angered sponsors Blue-Emu, a pain-relief brand that had agreed to sponsor Wallace for the virtual race. The company’s executive vice-president, Ben Blessing, confirmed to The Action Network that the company had rescinded their sponsorship of Bubba. 

“We aren’t sponsoring Bubba anymore,” Blessing told the sports gambling and business website. “Can you imagine if he did that in real life on a track?” Bubba is known for a fiery competitive spirit in real-world NASCAR, and it seems he took the passion into virtual racing too. 


“We thought this was a blessing in disguise for us,” Blessing continued. “But then you find out that you aren’t sponsoring a NASCAR driver, you are sponsoring someone like my 13-year-old son who broke his controller playing some game where he builds houses.”

Despite the reaction and negative repercussions to his actions, Wallace seemed fairly unperturbed by the controversy not long after he had quit out of the race.

“Bahaha I’m dying at my mentions right now… I ruined so many peoples day by quitting..a video game.. Bahaha. A video game. Damn quarantine life is rough,” the star racer tweeted, after receiving a raft of messages. 


Blue-Emu also confirmed that they had been reached out to by one of the event’s organizers to confirm they would not be charged for their short-lived sponsorship. 

Regardless, it’s one of the most bizarre stories to emerge from the virtual reorganization of sporting events. 


Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun


Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 


In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.


It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”


While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.