A 22-year-old Vancouver man is likely celebrating after his team won $6.6 million in a video game competition in Seattle.
Former UBC student Kurtis Ling was part of a team of five called Evil Geniuses and took home the grand prize on Saturday, August 8 after playing Dota (Defense of the Ancients) 2 for an entire week.
Ling, who goes by the screen name Aui_2000, has always had a passion for video games, according to UBC’s campus paper The Ubyssey, and he decided to leave school in his third year to be a professional gamer.
“I just decided to take a year off to try to pursue gaming full time. Monetarily … it made a lot more sense to try to go professional in gaming than it did to complete my degree,” he told The Ubyssey back in March.
He said the eSports scene is at a time of growth, and five years ago it simply was not what it is today.
“The highest prize pool tournament I ever competed in with DotA (Dota 2’s predecessor) was $500 for first place. There was no reasonable way a person could make a living off the scene back then.”
The total prize pool for The International Dota 2 Championships was a staggering $18.4 million. The team Evil Geniuses beat was from China – they still walked away with $2.8 million.
To see the Grand Finale, watch the video below: