I was fully prepared to take a pass on today's announcement of a "hockey legend" doing a promotional thing for the naval MMO World of Warships. Not that I have anything against World of Warships, or hockey, but "famous guy gets paid to say nice things" isn't generally the sort of story that triggers the news alarm.
Then I watched the video.
So basically what happens is, Ovi steps onto the ice in a World of Warships jersey, eyeballs the net like he's looking through a periscope, then makes a couple of warm-up shots. Boom! He sank the battleship!
But then he tees off on five slapshots in a row, and misses on every single one of them. His fire control systems have been disabled! Oh no! He drops his stick, clenches his fists, and screams out his frustration—and his determination to succeed! One more bomb is released: It's on target—through the screen—a direct hit! It's all over! He has proven himself!
Ovechkin doesn't just play World of Warships, by the way: He'll also appear in the game as one of four commanders, one for the US, one for the USSR, and two that are "dual nation," a new type that enables players to "easily switch between Soviet and US fleets with a single commander." In all guises, Captain Ovi will have perks that enhanced targeting and survivability, and will be voiced by the real-life Ovechkin.
It's silly, but it could be worse, and let us not forget that World of Warships studio Wargaming is based in Belarus, so getting Ovechkin, who's scored more goals in the NHL than any other Russian in history, is a pretty big deal.
The Ovechkin update will also feature a new ship camouflage, new patches (that's in-game patches, not a series of bug fixes), and a "commemorative collection" of in-game items. It's set to roll out later this month.