The United States has an official team in the World Chase Tag League

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Davis Vasconcellos, the captain of the US Envy GNF team in the World Chase Tag league, tries to escape capture during a game last year at the Roxy in Atlanta.

courtesy of World Chase Tag®

The childhood tag game has grown and Envy Gaming is joining the action with its first professional chase and tag team.

Dallas-based esports giant Envy Gaming joins the World Chase Tag (WCT) league by purchasing its own Envy GNF tag team. Envy GNF (Going Nowhere Fast) will participate in its first televised tournament under the Envy Gaming banner on Friday on ESPN.

The global sport of pursuit tagging consists of two teams of six players taking turns to avoid and mark their opponents in a 40ft by 40ft space known as The Quad which is littered with ramps, balconies and platforms. The “escapee” goes on the offensive and tries to gain points for his team by avoiding the grip of the “pursuer” for 20 seconds. The team with the most points at the end of a predetermined number of rounds is the winner.

Envy GNF is quite a catch for the Dallas esports group and the team. GNF was just one of eight teams in the world to advance to the 2019 WCT London final against top teams from countries like France, Japan and the UK.

“We are so far the only team to compete in Europe in the world final,” said Envy GNF captain Davis Vasconcellos of Oceanside, Calif. “It’s a big problem for Envy to want to come and get us because we have a certain pedigree behind us.”

Chase tag may seem like a piece of cake, but the adult version combines a number of athletic skills including running, parkour, and player alignment as participants move into offense and defense. Just watching it can make onlookers sweat.

“What we love about World Chase Tag is the high speed gameplay and universal accessibility,” said Adam Rymer, CEO of Envy Gaming. “Just like anyone can pick up a controller to play video games, anyone can claim to be the best WCT player.”

Of course, the business is also lucrative for the GNF. Vasconcellos says they can focus on match preparation now that they have a sponsor covering the expenses the players have had to cover on their own and maybe even run exhibition and tournament matches.

“It attracts so many more eyes to this sport and a lot of people who are going to be interested in esports, which we see as adjacent to parkour,” said Vasconcellos. “It’s a greater union between two types of sports: eSports and action sports. For people like us who basically have to pay their own way with each competition, having paid flights and AirBnb makes competition a lot. easier for us. ”

The WCT league and the sport itself were started by brothers Christian and Damien Devaux in Orlando in 2011 in their backyard. They designed the first free run obstacle course which later became known as the Quad. Images of the sport were posted on YouTube and viewers began to create their own courses and teams. Since then, the sport has been shown on television networks around the world, including BBC Channel 4 in the UK and NBCSN in the US.

“It’s the most fun you can have on two feet if you ask me,” Vasconcellos says. “It’s a perfect mix of one-on-one UFCs, trying to distinguish another person’s style.”

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