November 4, 2016, marks the release date for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the 13th primary installment in the iconic video game franchise. Millions of gamers will be glued to their couches playing the game, and some people will be watching those gamers via livestreaming services like Twitch.
One gamer who thousands of viewers will watch can also be seen flying down the field on kickoffs on Saturdays for the Arizona State: redshirt-sophomore defensive back Dasmond Tautalatasi, also known by his gamertag “xdazmaniandevilx”.
At any given time, Tautalatasi said he has around 2,000 people watching streams of him playing anything from Plants vs. Zombies to Call of Duty. As his name grew in the gaming community, people started to pay attention.
Savage Gaming, an international eSports organization that has 19,000 followers on Twitter, contacted Tautalatasi about joining, and all of a sudden, “xdazmaniandevilx” was a professional gamer.
“Either they (Savage Gaming) tell me I’ll be competing against other teams, playing whatever game, mostly Call of Duty, or if I’m streaming for fun, just mobile games like Clash of Clans,” Tautalatasi said. “That’s just for fun. Viewers can stop by and pay their respects and just chill with me.”
On his streams, Tautalatasi interacts with viewers who comment on a message board accompanying the screen, and his personality is a mixture of energy and enthusiasm that also shows on the field.
He said most of his teammates prefer sports games like NBA 2K, Madden or FIFA, but ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins actually co-streamed with him once before but “hasn’t done it since.”
With the season in full swing, Tautalatasi hasn’t been able to stream much, but with the bye week, he has posted a few videos to his Twitch channel.
“Summer is a different story,” he said. “I was streaming a lot. I was streaming at least four times a week. During season, barely any. Actually just streamed to try out the new (Call of Duty) beta, but besides that, in-season, there’s no time. We’re always focusing on studying and watching film.”
Tautalatasi is loyal to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, citing that game as the one that first got him hooked, and with the remastered version available along with Infinite Warfare, he expects to be playing a lot more of the throwback game.
“I’m so happy it’s coming out with the remastered (version),” he said. “That’s the only reason I’m paying the extra $20... To be honest, I still don’t like jumping up in the air, running on walls, it’s just getting too out of hand.”
Tautalatasi said he expects to get back into streaming more once the season ends, but as a whole, video games are something that unites the team no matter which game is being played.
“There would be times where there was at least 12 of us online, and we’re like, ‘All right, I guess you can take this one’ because we’re all close knit,” Tautalatasi said. “Gaming is something that brings us together.”