If you would have asked me a few years ago when eSports became “a thing,” I would have likely said the beginnings were somewhere in the avenue mid to late 2000’s.
This is clearly wrong, but this has more to do with my own personal limited exposure to eSports which was around that time. I learned somewhere down the road that I was wrong and that the emergence of eSports not only came from the first person shooter genre, but that it had happened much earlier than I thought.
I discussed eSports with Cameron Irvine, the commissioner of the Simulated Football League, who highlighted the journey of breaking into eSports with wholly unique idea and the struggles and successes that he has had in growing the franchise.
This week, I bring you Johnathan Wendel. His given name may not ring a bell, but his gaming handle might: FATAL1TY.
Johnathan brings with him 25 years worth of anecdotes from the journey of becoming the one of the world’s first professional video game players. He turned professional at the tender age of 18. In 1999.
The waves he made were massive enough to catch the attention of major media outlets, leading to being featured on a segment of CBS New’s 60 Minutes as well as MTV’s True Life.
Twelve total word championship titles won in five different games earning prize money totaling more than $450,000. Prize pools in eSports now a days easily eclipse that total, but that amount was record breaking. Wendel held the record for most money earned until 2013.
Here is a link to the Business Insider report that we discuss in this week’s episode.
His achievements and contributions to the video game industry earned him the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award by eSports in 2007 and in 2010 was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame.
Wendel also discusses the way in which he used and grew the FATAL1TY, Inc. brand to propel himself to further success.
Overall, I’m super excited to share this interview with you. I learned so much from our conversation.
I’m excited to share that FATAL1TY is also still gaming, and a ton. Be sure to follow him on Twitch to keep up with him! https://www.twitch.tv/fatal1ty
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