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October 09, 2007

Hot Chicks With Dorkwads: A $250,000 Contract, A Lucrative Company, And Plenty Of Star-Eyed Groupies... For *Professional* Video Game Players

Crazy Halo money.

For three long days and three late nights, nicknames like Skarfaze and Captain Anarchy and Miss Baretta! are the norm; shaggy, Ashton Kutcher clone army haircuts de rigueur; energy drinks and fast food subs and parking lot cigarettes the biofuels of choice. No one here would rather be sitting at a Cubs game, practicing violin, sweating through two-a-days. Please. Who has time? There are bombs to plant, plasma pistols to overcharge. Sick killing sprees to pull off. Because 25 years after Pac-Man Fever, playing video games can finally make you rich. Famous, even.

Oh, and if that seems improbable -- like the clouds opening up and raining Guinness -- well, you don't know the half of it.

"We have groupies," says pro gamer Ben "Karma" Jackson, flashing a sheepish grin.

"There's a lot of girls around," adds pro gamer Tom "Tsquared" Taylor. "I honestly find them annoying. Because I'm not here to talk to you. I'm here to play 'Halo.' I'm not going to give you a hug. I'm going to my station to play."

"I give them hugs," Jackson interjects. "I'm not going to lie."


The 19-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., resident slouches into a couch. His entire existence revolves around gaming. He has a $250,000 contract with MLG, makes thousands more in prize money and charges up to $115 per hour for online gaming lessons though a self-founded company that counts New Jersey Nets forward Richard Jefferson among its 1,000-plus clients.


Poor coaches Final Boss, which brings us to our next point: Pro gamers have coaches. And game plans. They scout opponents by watching film. They even hold NFL preseason-style scrimmages[.]

Yeah. And you thought you were depressed before.

Thanks to JackM.

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posted by Ace at 05:03 PM

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