We're used to cringe-worthy video game celebrity promotions. Who can forget the time EA wheeled Pele on-stage at E3?
This one, though, this one will take some beating.
To promote the launch of Overwatch, a company called The Integrity Club convinced Blizzard to let it create a live competition, pitching a team of celebs including comedian Rufus Hound and TV presenter Jamal Edwards MBE against a team of footballers that included Everton FC's Gerard Deulofeu and England and Arsenal Women's Kelly Smith MBE.
The result is the video, below, in which a handful of people cheer on world-famous Spanish winger Deulofeu as he plays Overwatch because he's being paid to at Oval Space in London.
In a piece to camera, Deulofeu says, and I quote:
"The game of Overwatch is a lovely game."
"It's a hard game. You need to defend and attack."
"So good for a win. But yes, we enjoy today and I hope win. I hope win."
"I play a lot of games on PlayStation. But my favourite game is NBA, you know? In NBA, nobody win me. But in Overwatch I leave for the other."
Deulofeu's team, it turns out, are your Overwatch All-Stars champions. Cue confetti cannon and trophies held aloft. That counts as Everton silverware what?
Gerard is asked if he's happy to win.
"We are a team," he replies, to cheers from Everton FC's media people.
As the horror unfolds, you think, this couldn't possibly get worse. And then it does, when for some inexplicable reason someone from EvertonTV hands Deulofeu a microphone and asks him to interview some Everton fans who were drafted into cheering on the event.
"Why you stay in London? Here?" Deulofeu asks.
"To see you," answers a chuffed Evertonian.
"Yes, thank you thank you. I love."
Then, another question:
"Did you enjoy today?"
"Yeah, very good," another beaming fan who probably had a few cans on the train down from Liverpool Lime Street station says. "Because you won."
Good experience!! ๐๐๐ https://t.co/O4EYo8RWzm— Gerard Deulofeu (@gerardeulofeu) May 27, 2016
The Integrity Club is a new specialist agency set up to match "football talent" - a phrase I use in the loosest sense here - with video game brands.
The Overwatch campaign resulted in over five million views via social media, The Integrity Club said (the video has had 3732 views on YouTube). It probably did great on Facebook, though.
Still, Blizzard sound convinced. It asked The Integrity Club to "seed" 100 copies of the game to other high profile footballer celebrities. Take that as a warning there's more to come.
"Generally we feel footballers are under used within the market," The Integrity Club's Neil Meredith said.
"Some of the research we've carried out recently has revealed a staggering crossover in the demographics of gamers and football fans, with over 80 per cent of consumers asked placing games and football within their top five hobbies.
"We believe that games companies can reap significant rewards from working with football talent and look forward to working with more of our former colleagues in the industry."
Who's next? James Milner?
Anyway, Everton tweeted about Deulofeu's Overwatch adventure. Here's a snippet of the response:
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