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Delivering News From The Source

Tyler The Gamer

By: Guzel Tuhbatullina

Tyler Michael McLeish, a 23-years-old from Owatonna, Minnesota astonished his professor and course-mates in Mass Communications class by sharing his recent accomplishments.

The class was discussing an exciting and entertaining chapter: Digital Gaming and Media Playground. How surprising it was for the class to find out that among them was sitting a person who makes money by playing games. McLeish is a student here at Waldorf University finishing his senior year with a major in business management. According to McLeish, he paid his tuition, housing and car payment using his gaming money. His very first game that he got to experience at the age of three was all time favorite and popular “Mario.”

His so-called “addiction” started by the age of 13-14. That is when Playstation and Xbox and the famous game that came out at the same time “Call of Duty” took over the gaming world.

Minimum age requirement to play “Call of Duty” was 17. First time when McLeish got to play this game was when he was with his cousins. They let him play despite the fact that he was younger. McLeish surprised his cousins and himself by how well he did in his very first time. His first competitive game called “Call of Duty 4”. That is when he had his tournament that took place online.

Just like any other sport, gaming has a record. Players can keep track of their record on the website for the “Call of Duty.” The user of the Xbox or a PlayStation can sign up for the tournament. They are allowed to play as much as 100 games per day if they wanted to. The tournament lasts a year and at the end of it, people can see how many games one played and what he/she scored so far. “So my record at one point was about 1025. So I’ve won 1000 games and lost 25 of them,” McLeish said.

In order to get sponsored as a player one has to be in the top 500 players. After the screening players would go through scrimmages and put in teams to see how an individual player would handle the teamwork. Every team has four players.

Sponsorship happens in the following way: Sponsors who kept track of the player’s successes would pick the top-notch players and through their linked account to the Xbox or a PlayStation would send them an email about them passing to the top number of players. To see if the player is good enough players need to go through a lot of tryouts. If he/she impresses the sponsors and shows them that he/she is capable of winning the player gets into the sponsored team of four. If the player does good enough sponsors put him/her in a team of 6 that can compete for $100,000 or a million dollars for each tournament. By the sophomore year in high school, I have played in 10 tournaments and was placed as 27th among 1000 of other players.

“It is not just money most of us are playing for, it is fun and enjoyable to compete,” McLeish said.

$150,000 a year, that is how much contract starts with. There are also huge theme houses built for the gamers. In gaming, there are lots of different ways to get paid. A great example here would be Youtube. Full-time job on Youtube channel is around $85,000. There is a certain amount of posts a week and views that need to be attained in order to keep the channel working. Another great example is “Twitch.TV”. It is a life streamed video game where people get to watch a player play and hear him/her comment during the game. They see exactly what player sees. Some people go to an actual studio to stream it, some just do it at their own houses. While streaming the game the channel can run ads and the ads get charged 7 cents per view. So if you the player has 10 thousand or more people watching the game and the ad, money ads up. It is free to become a part of “Twitch.TV” so anyone can start their own channel.

Summer of 2013 was a big convention for all the different games that took place in South Korea, Seoul. It included the celebration of the Call of Duty, the big national championship that happened in April and all the players got together. Trip and the housing was all sponsored also. The trip last for four days. Within the ceremony, there were tournaments going on through the weekend. They also got an afterparty with a DJ and a visit to all the tourist places. Now they are planning on doing it in London. “I’m hoping to go there,” McLeish said. If not sponsored he is going to use his own money to go.

“It is nice that U.S. becoming a popular place to host all these events. That’d be nice to travel within the U.S. rather than taking long flights to another side of the world,” McLeish added.

Gaming can be time-consuming and will interfere with the school if one would consider becoming a full-time player. But looking at the example of McLeish it seems like gaming and schooling can be intermingled.

McLeish’s parents did not approve of the gaming at very beginning until their son got his actual check in the mail. It is so amazing how technologies evolved nowadays that we don’t even have to go outside of our house to make money. “There are 19-years-old kids that are donating to hospitals millions of dollars. It’s amazing how something fun can also be useful,” said McLeish. ” My dad actually started playing with me,” he added.

Advice for players from McLeish:” Play as much as you want, but as soon it becomes a chore then it is not for you.” Committing to a professional level of gaming takes 8 hours of mandatory from the team that player is in. To keep up with that level player has to play about 4-8 hours on his/her own. In total it is 16 hours a day of gaming. Professionals who spend that much time of their day on gaming still do not consider it as a job. For them, it is something that they love to do. A hobby that brings joy and money.

“I probably always will play games. At least for fun,” McLeish said