Last month on April 27, the Allen Event Center in Allen, TX was home to the first-ever Overwatch League (OWL) Home Games - dubbed, the Dallas Fuel Homestand. The arena was completely sold out, packed wall-to-wall with 4,500 ranting and raving fans each cheering on their favorite teams as they played their regularly scheduled OWL season matches. Mysterious dance act Karma Fields played during the event and we interviewed him to learn more about the connection between music and gaming for him.
[note: If you're unfamiliar with OWL and its players/game/format, you can learn all about it on Blizzard's official league site here.]
Karma Fields + Event Photos
Envy Gaming, the ownership group for Dallas Fuel and hosts for the event, spared no expense or detail in using all of the arena's bells and whistles to make the production a weekend to remember. For reference, the level of production and design at this event was akin to a major sporting event or EDM show, with all the latest technology for visuals and stage design. Surrounded by LED panels, beers and cheerful signs in hands, fans around the arena were brimming with ear-to-ear smiles as they watched their favorite players smash each other across the nearly 20-hour broadcast. The most important moment in the show was the weekend's primary spectacle: the "Battle for Texas." This match was between state rivals Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel - and Envy did a killer job making their crown jewel stand out.
The extra special icing on this proverbial esports cake was the inclusion of mystery performer Karma Fields throughout the show. Karma Fields not only opened the competition each day AND did the hype-build before the "Battle for Texas," but also hit us with an hour-long set at the official after-party. It's worth noting that this is no easy task - Karma Fields is a full-on live performer with accompanying six-sided hex that surrounds him with projected visuals. Get a feel for his performance and style by watching this highlight reel of his weekend:
'I loved seeing Karma Fields perform at our event, he crushed it. As esports and home games continue to grow, I expect to see more experiences in the future. More events, more fans, more fun.' - Mathew 'Tazmo' Taylor, General Manager, Dallas Fuel
We were lucky enough to get some time with Karma Fields to talk about his performance and connection to the gaming world.
Congratulations on the show - what does it mean to you to to play this trailblazing event?
Gaming fans have been a big part of my core audience from day one. There is so much crossover between gaming fans and music fans and it means a lot for Blizzard and Overwatch to see that. It is an honor to be at the start of this bigger movement and I hope there is more collaboration in this way moving forward.
How did you prepare for this event in particular?
This event included a lot of new material from Body Rush. The Hex is always getting more complex with its visual styles and integration of technology. We worked closely with the event hosts to make sure everything was on-point for attendees at the show with extra attention paid to the show integration and smooth transfer over to the after-party.
Tell us more about your interest in the gaming world. What did you think of the weekend?
Anything this new and unexplored is exciting to everyone involved. Gaming itself is not new, but presenting it in this light and at this scale is groundbreaking and refreshing. It also seems to be a truly international event with global relevance. Several sports are international but Overwatch seems to have no real boundaries for fandom and interest at any stage. Fans can feel just as connected to a team on the other side of the world as they do with a team in their back yard.
Regarding the fans, anyone involved in gaming has a good understanding of the technology and what is truly involved to create something special. They are an ideal audience for a project that focuses on exploring humanity and technology.
What was your inspiration for Body Rush?
The goal of Body Rush was to show how electronic music can be human in nature. The exploration of a computer learning what it is to be human. The music in Body Rush has imperfections, subtle changes in timing and pitch, glitches and mistakes, the same type of fluidity in inconsistency that makes a live acoustic performance special and unique every time.
What is the Karma Fields mission now, what are you trying to accomplish as an artist/performer/entity?
The goal is to find the perfect balance of digital and analogue. The median between digital perfection and human imperfection. That exploration can be heard if you listen carefully, but it is most apparent in the real-time live performances because of the randomness and unpredictability coded into the show. The visuals are different every time and influenced by the crowd and the music that feeds them.
If you could change one thing about the planet, no-holds-barred, no budget no restrictions, what would you do and why?
I would eliminate borders. I would eliminate rules and restrictions that hinder exploration both geographically and mentally. I would eliminate nationalism and express that what you have in common with someone often runs deeper than where a person is born or who they are told to be.
Ready to check out an OWL match live? Buy your tickets to the Atlanta (July 6&7) Homestand before they sell out!