Öivind Toverund is the oldest Counter-Strike professional in the world: 78 years young, always in a good mood and with a big grin, he tells us about his eSports team Silver Snipers. Launched and sponsored by Lenovo, the retirees have just started a pretty cool gamer shared apartment and are exercising every day. Team Silver Snipers in portrait.
Team Silver Snipers: Age is only a number and so these retirees started their next career as CS: GO professionals and are traveling to tournaments in Moscow, Paris and Las Vegas.
In January 2017, Öivind Toverud came across an exciting ad. It was a call to seniors interested in joining an eSports team. The goal: to participate in the Dreamhack Digital Festival in Sweden and to play Counter-Strike. “I had never played CS: GO before, but found the idea exciting. At the age of 78, you’ve already done a lot and tried out a lot, but I’ve had few points of contact with video games, but I’ve always found the culture around it interesting. So I spontaneously wrote an email and applied. ”
The event was organized by hardware giant Lenovo, who called Toverud one day and asked if he had time for a training camp. “Sure, why not,” I said. I had to cancel my skat round for the weeks, but they thought it was pretty cool that I would do something with these video games now. We’ve all heard about it, but the last game I played was decades ago. Back then you could still count the pixels individually. ”When we meet him three years later, he has a full 1,300 hours in CS: GO on the clock, a KD of 0.9 and a headshot rate of 41.8 percent.
The beginnings of Team Silver Snipers
78 years young, always in a good mood and the best AWP shooter in the Global Senior CS: GO League: Öivind “Windy“ Toverud.
“We were a fun group, a colorful mix,” recalls the Swedish senior. “Some youngsters with 60, a few my age. We hit it off right away. ”The Lenovo-sponsored Silver Snipers were put together with the express aim of expanding the eSports audience, which is usually quite young. The oldest active CS professional currently is Patrick “f0rest“ Lindberg at 31, who has just left ninjas in pajamas to join his own squad with his buddies Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund and Richard ‘Xizt’ Landström Establishing Dignitas. The Silver Snipers are trained by former Counter-Strike pro Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson – one of the founders of Ninjas in Pajamas. After his active career, he has set himself the goal of introducing newcomers to the wonderful world of competitive gaming. The Silver Snipers provided the opportunity to take this concept even further with a brand new demographic group. “We wanted everyone to be involved,” Tommy Ingemarsson tells us. “Gaming is nothing more than enjoying films, books or theater. It should be open to everyone. ”
So that fun was not neglected before training and hard work, the retirees decided to create a gamer day on Steam that corresponded to their character traits:
Sweden has had the best CS players in the world for generations. And one of the founders of Ninjas in Pajamas is now training the Silver Snipers.
That was great fun on the first day. I called myself Windy because I shoot fast. Vanya called herself Knitting Knight because she likes to knit. Well, everyone needs a hobby. Our chick Monica called herself Teen Slayer, how appropriate “
After the fun, the training began, after all, none of the seniors had ever played Counter-Strike: “The first units were all about how the mechanics work: How to shoot, throw guarantees, duck and buy weapons,” explains the CS -Professional and trainer Tommy. The team took the task straight away and pretty seriously – everyone regularly approached Tommy with questions, one even printing out the CS: GO keyboard layout for the others. “I liked Counter-Strike from the start, it’s a great game. But you need a lot of keys, the coordination of hand and eyes was the biggest challenge for me. ”
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“The coordination of my hand and eyes was the biggest challenge for me”
Only three weeks remained for the first boot camp and preparation for the Dreamhack.
“At the beginning we all made this rookie mistake where you move your eyes away from the screen and look at the mouse or the keyboard because you have to find the right key. Sure, of course there will be demand, ”explains Toverud. “We’ve been shot down quite a few times, the young people on the servers pretty much spanked our bums. You then have to learn from it – analyze and eliminate mistakes, as I always say. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and to improve. ”There are only three weeks before the first tournament at Dreamhack, very little, to fathom the depths of CS: GO, but the seniors step on the gas: Tommy is teaching them how to aim the Desert Eagle at short range, how to use the M4 without forgiving too much, and how to use grenades to fake an advance even though they come down the stairs on Dust.
“CS: GO is ultimately like chess, you always have to think a few moves ahead, then it works. The strategy and the mind were less of a problem for all of us, and we harmonized well in the team. We found it difficult to react correctly – the call-out was like “AK-Schützen at 9 o’clock”, but then you have to meet him too. “The seniors first play against bots, then human players and finally, friends of Tommy’s who also want to help and come from the CS community. “The team was extremely committed from the start and really wanted to break something, very impressive. CS is a complex game in terms of hand-eye coordination requirements. ”Why did Lenovo choose this title? “All other eSports titles are very, very much more complex and cannot be learned in three weeks – CS: GO is much more intuitive than League of Legends or Overwatch, where every hero plays completely differently and you have to pay attention to many more variations in the gameplay .
“Through CS: GO, my husband and I discovered a completely new hobby for us”
Team-mates became friends and Monica got her husband Arne enthusiastic about CS, who is now also part of the squad.
Monica is also completely enthusiastic about her discovery of CS: GO: “Today I play a lot with my husband Arne, whom I got excited about CS. I think it’s great that after all these years we have found a new hobby together. You’re married a bit and have known each other for around 40 years. It’s hard to surprise your darling. For our birthday we just got a new gaming mouse and we upgraded our internet. ”
Arne is also super happy when we call them both on Skype: “I love this community. Now Corona and everything is more virtual, but when we were at Dreamhack and were able to play with all these young people, that was wonderful. I know it sounds weird when I say that, but at 60 you usually have little contact with people in their 20s unless it’s your own grandchildren. We had a great chat, about music, films and gaming. I learned a lot from the participants, but I was also able to tell a little something that was interesting for them. ”Their grandchildren love them both very much, Monica has eight grandchildren who come to visit regularly. However, they are all a bit too small for CS: GO. “We play a lot together, but more child-friendly titles, no CS. The smallest is just five, the largest nine. But I play CS with the big ones. ”
“My brain works much faster, my reflexes are like 20 or 30 years ago”
Monica “Teen Slayer” Idenfors: “When my little grandchildren visit me, I’m the classic grandma. Then in the evening the Frag goddess. “
“I think there is little better to keep yourself mentally fit. In CS you have to think very situationally, constantly adapt to new situations, react quickly. You train your reflexes, learn to function as a unit in a team. ”This is also confirmed by the 78-year-old Öivind Toverud:“ My doctor used to prescribe me medication because I often felt tired. Today I play CS and am wide awake. ”In the meantime, he has also encouraged some of his buddies from the weekly Skat group to give them a try.
Lenovo has given the team their own team house in Stockholm, where they regularly invite older gamers who usually don’t have a gaming PC or laptop at home. “This is a whole new quality of life: Today I am in virtual reality with my Oculus Rift constantly on vacation and in distant countries, and we have downright fans at the events where we play.” And as usual in eSports, there is of course one too Smoldering rivalry: “The Gray Gunners are mostly youngsters, barely 60 years old. But when I’m at the AWP, nobody is fooling a silver sniper ”- he grins. Incidentally, Arne Peter is now his rifler – “he’ll flatten everything with the M4, the boy still has a steep career ahead of him. It’s still young, ”the team boss sums up with a big grin.
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Overjoyed: It was a tough road to the Grand Finals, but in the end Team Silver Snipers was crowned world champion.
The Gray Gunners under team boss “Dirty Harry” brought the Silver Snipers some serious defeats on the Dreamhack, but the senior team did not give up, trained hard and was able to secure the Nordic Championships at the end of 2018.
“We developed,” recalls Abbe “DieHardBirdie” Borg. “At the beginning of 2018 we were still playing very basic, we had understood the CS: GO-Ein-mal-Eins, now we had to find out how to master this game.” The Silver Snipers trained on special AVP maps to find out their To train precision with the legendary sniper rifle: “Mastering the AVP is the premier class, it is not easy to draw fast enough, aim at it and then land the headshot. The younger pros manage to do that from the jump, which is basically the next level. ”
The stats are impressive: KD of almost 1.0 and over 1000 hours in CS: GO on the clock. The squad trains every evening.
It’s just a fascinating story that we absolutely wanted to tell here on PC WELT. Because older people like to be sidelined. Because in the end you don’t trust them anymore. For the Silver Sniper it was never about making the big bucks, even though they of course receive donations on Twitch and have a contract with their sponsor Lenovo. Gaming should be for everyone, regardless of age. Most recently, Nintendo’s Wii showed how games can connect. One likes to sing, the other plays tennis or bowling on the Wii. And still others want to compete. We should celebrate that as eSports enthusiasts, after all we are all getting older – the author of these lines will certainly still be playing CS with his buddies in 30, 40, 50 years – with a drink in hand by the pool in Florida, if anything runs smoothly. It is also particularly nice that the Silver Sniper 2019 rewarded themselves at Dreamhack: In the Grand Final, they beat the Gray Gunners and crowned themselves Senior World Champion. The 85-year-old Borg then surprised his grandchildren not only with the trophy, but also with his skills – “I’m now the cool grandpa who draws quick-scope with the AWP headshots. We now have regular LAN parties with me. ”
If you feel like playing with your peers and are over 35, you should open up
drop by. We have only just met the founder and CEO René Merkli and in the next few weeks we are bringing a special about the eSports league for dads and moms.
PC WELT wishes good luck and happy gaming in 2021.