Eric Van Allen

Freelance Writer

Austin, TX

Eric Van Allen

I'm a writer who specializes in games, internet culture, and esports, with over five years of experience and a breadth of skills.

(art by Sam Woolley, GMG)



Meet the best team in New York: Overwatch League's New York Excelsior

The best team in New York pro sports doesn't play football or baseball or hockey or soccer. Clearly, it doesn't play basketball. Despite the stumble at the end, New York is still the giant in the room. It has an all-star lineup; even bench-riders could start and lead other squads. Season one MVP Seong-hyun “JJoNak” Bang plays a supporting role, but drops enemies like flies.
Daily News Link to Story

How a Trash-Talking Furry Became Esports' Dominant Player

Wired Magazine Link to Story

Artifact’s monetization structure is making Valve money and some gamers very angry

A new digital card game that encourages players to spend money to build their collections has been categorized as an outrage by detractors. The outrage stems from the fact that many users believe players need to spend a significant amount of money, beyond the game’s $20 purchase price, to be properly competitive.
The Washington Post Link to Story

Hitman 2 gives one of 2016’s best games a second shot at success

Polygon Link to Story

Big Data Is The Future Of Esports

“Game developers don’t like me,” said Sabina Hemmi. “Before I came around, there was no insight into how balanced a game was.”. Hemmi is joking. Partially. As the co-founder of DotaBuff, a site that provides statistics about Dota 2 gameplay, she can show with hard data if certain characters are stronger or weaker, and in what areas.
Compete Link to Story

Dragon Ball FighterZ Up-And-Comer Is The 'Trash Mom' Of Gotenks

A month ago at Wednesday Night Fights, a local weekly tournament in southern California, Dawn “Yohosie” Hosie was matched against a player who goes by RazorX. His Adult Gohan lineup was a familiar sight, but Hosie’s lead-off fighter was Gotenks, who used to be one of Dragon Ball FighterZ’s more obscure characters.
Compete Link to Story

15 Years Later, Here's Why A Gamer Was Duct-Taped To A Ceiling

Few photos from the forum ages of online gaming live in greater infamy than one of what appears to be a human duct taped to the ceiling of a dimly lit basement, his arms reaching out to lightly graze the keys of a Dell mechanical keyboard. Many have laid claim to this image. “I was there,” they say.
Compete Link to Story

How Will Esports Solve Their Broadcast Problem?

On the latest episode of Achievement Oriented, Ben Lindbergh and Jason Concepcion talked to Compete’s Eric Van Allen about the challenges of broadcasting esports.
The Ringer Link to Story

The 15-Year-Old Smash Pro Who Finds Confidence In Dancing Like Bayonetta

It’s Tuesday, and Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth is waiting on a plane. His flight’s been delayed twice. At 15 years old, he’s one of the youngest signed players in Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, and one of the best Bayonetta players in the world—a character as strong as she is controversial. Lauth, like his other siblings, is home-schooled, which allows him to travel outside of New Orleans and compete in the rough circuit of the competitive Smash scene with relative ease.
Compete Link to Story

Smash 'God' Drops Out Of Tournament Because His Controller Isn't Properly Malfunctioning

Adam “Armada” Lindgren, considered one of the “five gods” of competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee, has dropped out of this weekend’s DreamHack Austin due to a controller that isn’t malfunctioning properly. Yes, you read that correctly. The obvious question here is why is a professional player—with the resources of an organization behind him—isn’t prepared with multiple back-ups in case of a failure like this?
Compete Link to Story

Inside the Steam Marketplace's Indie Haberdashery

Custom-designed weapon and character skins rely on more than savvy 3D art skills. Valve, for all of its innovation and invention, has built an empire on the bones of other games. While Half-Life stands alone, one look at its present-day catalog reveals a foundation built on mods. Dota 2 is the Not Quite Sequel to a popular Warcraft III mod.
Waypoint / Vice Link to Story

TobiWan: The voice of Dota 2

You might know him as the voice of Dota 2, the man behind the mic shouting "It's a disaster!" at last year's International, or from any other of the hundreds of competitive matches he has casted. Toby Dawson, or "TobiWan," is one of the most prolific commentators in Dota 2, and he has been in the game for quite some time.
ESPN Esports Link to Story


Eric Van Allen

writer, video producer, podcaster

bylines at:
Waypoint / Vice
Washington Post
ESPN Esports
Paste Magazine
The Meta / Kill Screen



  • Adobe Premiere
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Avid Media Composer
  • Audacity
  • GarageBand
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe AfterEffects
  • OBS
  • Fraps
  • XSplit
  • Adobe Media Encoder
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • DSLR cameras
  • Studio camera equipment
  • Elgato HD
  • Hauppauge
  • Video capture devices
  • Studio lighting
  • Audio engineering
  • Live streaming
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Non-linear editing
  • Confident on-camera
  • Gaming knowledge
  • Project management
  • Team coordination
  • Fast learner
  • Strong work ethic
  • Creative eye