The Brothers, a major league Taiwanese baseball team based in Taichung, invited a gamer to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at their August 23 game against the Lions. But this wasn’t just any gamer; this was GamerBee.
Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang’s pitch was part of a cross-promotional event between the Brothers baseball team and King of Fighters All Star, a gacha game developed by South Korean studio Netmarble. As such, he was accompanied by several King of Fighters cosplayers dressed as popular characters like Mai Shiranui, Leona Heidern, and genderbent versions of Yashiro Nanakase and Chang Koehan from the mobile game.
While I have my issues with the designation, Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang is one of the few fighting game players I feel comfortable calling a professional. Since exploding onto the scene with a surprising fifth-place performance at Evo 2010 that saw him eliminate Justin Wong from the Super Street Fighter IV bracket, Hsiang has continued to be a dominant force in the competitive community and a star in his home country of Taiwan.
The Brothers would go on to lose to the Lions in a 4-0 shutout. I’m not saying the opening pitch was terrible — believe me, there have been some doozies — but maybe if Hsiang’s throw had been a little more accurate, the hometown team would have had the morale boost they needed to send their opponents packing. Oh well, at least Taiwan is able to allow flesh-and-blood fans into baseball stadiums again thanks to its efforts in containing the covid-19 pandemic.