A lot of changes are taking place as we move out of spring and head into summer. School may be ending, certain travel restrictions may be lifted, and perhaps we will find the warmer weather will allow for more in person connecting. One thing we know for sure - people are revving up for summer sports and esports! As we profile in this newsletter, with the large help of our successful internship program, CANA Advisors delved into the rapidly growing esports community by launching its CANA esports intelligence analytics and by hosting an inaugural esports tournament. Whether you are into traditional sports or the esports community, we hope these articles get you revved up for Summer. Also, check out our upcoming events at the end of the newsletter where our team presents on esports, and we participate in various conferences on technologies and innovation strategies. So, game on and have a great gaming summer!
~ Team CANA eSports
CANA Futures Program
By Cherish Joostberns
"Leadership is not about the next election, it's about the next generation" -Simon Sinek.
We all know this to be true: it is the next generation that will drive technology, demand innovation, and find solutions. At CANA, we see it as our responsibility to help pass the torch from one generation to the next through mentorship, training, and professional support.
Our CANA Futures Program is the culmination of several years of effort and tinkering, finding the right mix of community outreach, deciding what knowledge to impart, and making it all come together. CANA’s goal is to continue its deep support of veterans hiring programs while also to embrace universities’ student up-and-comers. We very specifically want to encourage diversity in this program, seeking out opportunities to work with people from different walks of life, different experiences, and different talents.
This past year found us kicking off an official program in the midst of some trying months. Many outside agency programs came to a standstill as they tried to navigate restrictions. We found our years of virtual work came in handy, as we had something to offer that didn’t need much adaptation to the times. It also gave us the opportunity to dive deep into special aspects of our program with fewer outside competing interests.
Our Veterans Program is the most established element of the CANA Futures Program. We have engaged with the Hiring Our Heroes and SkillBridge Programs for a number of years, actively seeking to bring in transitioning veterans and/or their spouses into CANA as Fellows for up to 12 weeks at a time. These programs provide CANA with a limitless and diverse pool of talent. Applicants are eager, versatile, and more than capable of juggling their military transitions with civilian career exploration.
Engagement with college students and graduates has matured this year into a cohesive, fully articulated Corporate Internship Program. We are actively recruiting for college students, freshman through senior, as well as young adults exploring the professional community. Part of this effort includes participating in outreach efforts such as resume reviews, virtual lectures, and Q&A sessions with college Career Services. CANA has also created both paid and unpaid internships of varying lengths, to include collaboration with universities for internship credits.
We are thrilled that of our most recent interns, one is graduating in May 2021 with a degree in Sports Management from Loyola University, and the other is starting a George Mason University practicum to earn credits with us over the summer. In their time with CANA, these two individuals will be able to see the culmination of a remarkable project they were involved in from every aspect of development, research, execution, and analysis.
Our CANA interns helped to plan, market, and run the first-ever CANA eSports Tournament in April 2021. Independent, virtual teams signed up to compete in a live, multi-round, elimination tournament of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. On top of their many other responsibilities, the interns performed as tournament hosts, sharing the game action with competitors and spectators. Afterwards, they are assisting CANA in its deep analysis of the collected data, building insights into esports analytics. We are excited to see how projects like this increase the interns’ professional scope.
We think the CANA Futures Program is a great opportunity - for us as a company as well as for the young men and women who join us. To them, technologies and processes have always evolved and advanced at an exceptional rate; it is their normal, even if it feels new to many of us. There is an inherent belief that innovation is a given. This is a mindset we intend to embrace - there is always a better way to do things, and we can do it.
If you’d like to learn more about the CANA Futures Program, please reach out to Cherish Joostberns, CANA Resource Lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEAM CANA MEMBER SHOWCASE
Jack Murray & Thomas Murphy | Sports Analytics Interns
Sports Analytics Intern
Jack is currently a Junior at George Mason University, studying Sports Management. He has had a passion for sports, specifically hockey, throughout his entire life. Jack played hockey for 14 years and was also a youth hockey referee.
Throughout school, I always knew I wanted to make a difference in the sporting world, and CANA has given me the opportunity to do so. When I was brought into CANA last May, I was tasked with finding areas in the sports analytics market that we could support. One unique area of interest to me was esports analytics. Last year the COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of sports on hold. At one point esports was the only sport still being played, and because of this, its popularity grew exponentially. Due to its completely virtual environment, there is a plethora of data that has yet to be explored. What I hope to be a part of, here at CANA, is helping people understand the data in the world of esports. Whether that is recruitment analytics, promoting diversity in gaming, or being an analytics provider of an esports league, I think we can be a catalyst in furthering the success of esports through data analytics.
Sports Analytics Intern
Thomas Scully is a recent graduate of Loyola University, Chicago, with a degree in Sports Management and a minor in Marketing. Thomas has had a passion for sports since he was a child, watching SportsCenter in the mornings before school, and reading the sports sections of all the newspapers.
I craved every last bit of information I could get my hands on regarding the world of sports. I played basketball for about 15 years, and later on as a teenager, became a coach as well, teaching young kids the basics of the game. Since I began at Loyola, I have been blessed with many opportunities to learn about the sporting world from a business perspective and gained a wealth of knowledge from various activities such as hackathons and Loyola’s first esport tournament in the Fall of 2019. When I came to CANA in December of 2020, I knew I had an opportunity to learn more about a different aspect of the sporting world and how it operates in real time. Being involved with analytics, especially esport analytics, has been fascinating to dive into, as it truly is the way of the future, with more and more people becoming acclimated to an all-virtual climate of competition and recreation. Digging into the analytics of esports could not be a more important task for someone so intrigued about sports. This is because esports is still a relatively untapped industry, with so many different unexplored avenues to travel on. However we use these analytics we draw from esports, whether it’s identifying patterns in a Rainbow Six Siege match or defining metrics for potential esports collegiate/professional recruitment, we are going to make the most of it and embed CANA and its services into the world of esports.
CANA’s Inaugural Esports Tournament
Lessons Learned from the R6 Showdown
By Jack Murray, CANA Intern, George Mason University
CANA esports R6 Showdown Takeaways
CANA hosted its inaugural open player esports tournament this past April. It was a fast-paced, gripping event, and we gained some fantastic insights into this growing field. The initiating spark to host an esports event grew out of our interest in supporting the esports industry through the use of data analytics.
Personally, I have been involved with video games for almost the entirety of my life, and I saw first hand how quickly esports were growing. I started as a CANA intern during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw most traditional sports put on hold or cancelled completely. This led to esports being one of the only sports entertainment options available to anyone and everyone. The easy accessibility, low cost, and variety of esports are contributing factors to its exponential growth. The pandemic may have inflated the true numbers, but esports was already on a path for this type of growth, it was just a matter of time and acceptance by the world. Although esports was expanding, it was still a new and young industry with so much untapped potential.
As we looked into how CANA’s analytics could support this industry, we discovered the wide variety of video games that are played at the level of ‘esports’ all have different data to be explored. With the entire industry being a virtual environment, it breeds an abundance of data. There are some data analytics companies that are realizing this as well, but there is so much untapped data remaining. We also reached out and connected with two esports industry leaders, Rebecca Longawa and Wim Stocks. Rebecca is the founder of Happy Warrior, an esports consultant firm, and Wim just recently retired from being the General Manager and CEO of World Gaming & Collegiate Starleague, and is now the Head of Partnerships and Commercial at Belong Gaming & Vindex.
The three areas we were particularly interested in were: esports recruitment analytics, promoting diversity in gaming through analytics, and being an analytics provider for an esports league. As hosts of the event, we could collect a controlled data sample to conduct a variety of analyses.
We selected the game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege for its military-style, tactical gameplay. Our tournament included a mix of high school students, college students, and members of the US Army as part of a semi-pro team called US Army Esports. Some teams were semi-professional teams that had coaches, and others were just friends getting together to join in on the fun. Some were using our tournament as practice for real Rainbow Six League play. This provided us with a truly diverse group of gamers that were a mix of amateur and organized, highly skilled competitors. The event was a three day tournament from 23 through 25 April, 2021. In the best of 3 final series, Psych Ward won 2-0 against US Army Esports; the second game went to the last round of overtime to decide. It was a nail-biter, but Psych Ward won both games and the tournament! Great job, Psych Ward!
Overall, the tournament ran smoothly, and we had a great time as hosts. Although we prepared for this tournament for about three months, there were several operational aspects we could have better anticipated. As every first event will have a learning curve, we recognized a few key takeaways. The first is to create alternative bracket systems in case of cancellations and no-shows. On game day, three of our eight teams dropped out. This dismantled our bracket system and required a solution on the spot. We solved the problem by adding a one-time losers bracket for the quarter-final losers. There is no way to be 100% positive each team is going to show up for every game, and we need to be better prepared for that.
The second takeaway is to allow substitute roster spots at the time of registration. Life gets in the way sometimes, and it can affect players’ availability to play at the set times. We manually added substitute players, which led to much more work than necessary. The third is that we needed more people on the control end of the tournament. As one of the commentators, I was also the main player support person in the discord chat. Any player could reach out to me individually, or I would be the one in our discord server responsible for responding to them. This would have been better managed with an additional person. We also would have benefitted from having someone to put out social media posts during each match because game details in real-time is exactly what social media users are looking for. It would have helped build awareness of our event and drawn a larger audience if we had someone posting in real-time.
CANA’s overall intent in hosting this tournament was to further explore analytics in esports. In that respect, it was an extremely beneficial experience. The most crucial takeaway is that there is a lot more data waiting to be discovered. We ran this particular tournament for one specific game, Rainbow Six Siege, and we also used a data application called R6 Analyst to get the most detailed information on the gameplay. The R6 application gave us a great deal of data to work with for each individual's gameplay statistics. This type of information can provide potential training points to players; inform spectators, scouts, coaches, and sponsors; and support industry game analysis and more, in a growing billion-plus dollar industry.
Even with the large amount of data collected from this application, we quickly noticed there were many other aspects of the game that could have been collected. This validated the endless analytical aspects of this one particular game - and it is likely to be the same for all the other video games. At the moment, we feel esports data analytics has only scratched the surface of what information might be collected, and this tournament proved that.
The other major takeaway is that the esports industry and community is extremely supportive. We received many suggestions and comments from our competitors and other esports industry leaders on how to make improvements going forward. Everyone wants esports to succeed, so they are always trying to help out. They are looking out for the best interest of esports as a whole, and that mindset is vital to the success of any industry. Lastly, esports and analyzing esports is a blast! This industry is so young, new, and exciting, and we are enjoying every moment of it. We are really looking forward to being a catalyst in furthering the success of esports through the use of data analytics.
CANA EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS
MORS 89th Symposium: Analytics to Enhance Decision Making (21-25 June 2021) Join Team CANA as we attend the 89th MORS Symposium being held June 21-25, 2021. The focus for this symposium will be Analytics to Enhance Decision Making. The MORS Symposium is a signature event attended annually by over 1,000 Operation Research professionals.
The Women In MORS Community of Practice will be hosting an interactive, virtual discussion during the upcoming 89th MORS Symposium. A diverse group of industry and military leaders will explore the topic of Effective Networking Strategies during a special hosted panel on June 22, 2021, at 4:00 pm EST. Registration information can be found here (89th Symposium (mors.org).
Checkout our CANA Connection Podcast ALL THINGS ESPORTS with Happy Warrior, Rebecca Longawa In this episode of the CANA Connection Podcast, join our host, Rob Cranston, and CANA Sports Analytics Intern, Jack Murray, as they talk with the Happy Warrior and gaming industry leader Rebecca Longawa about esports, its growth in the past year, its marketing, how the traditional sporting industry is getting involved, women in gaming, and the future of the esports industry in general. Podcast | cana (canallc.com)
SAVE THE DATES for these upcoming Electric Mobility and Unmanned Logistics events at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar on June 23rd and 24th, 2021. Join Team CANA as we go on site at MCAS Miramar in California, for these two epic events hosted by SoCal Tech Bridge and NavalX Next Strategy: Day One is Electric and Unmanned Logistics Demonstration Day and is a follow-up to 2020’s two-day Future Unmanned Logistics Systems (ULS) Energy Logistics Enabling Deployed Operations (FUELED Ops) virtual event. Experience how commercial unmanned platforms and supporting technologies are shaping the future of logistics operations!! For more information or to register for the event visit canallc.com/eul-demoday.
Day Two is the first Electric Mobility Symposium. Government and industry leaders will communicate how electric mobility technology can and will be used on military bases, in the field, and into the future. Be a part of this exciting technology launch. For more information or to register for the Electric Mobility Symposium please visit canallc.com/electric-mobility
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