Senior competes in competitive gaming tournaments

Senior Austin Isern has made $5,000 in the past year and a half playing Call of Duty in his basement


By Photo by Sarah Morgan

Intensely watching the screen, senior Austin Isern waits for the Call of Duty match to begin.

Jessica Mitchell, JAG reporter

Gripping the controller, senior Austin Isern prepared for virtual bullets and grenades coming his way.  The clock flashed 3, 2, 1 and the battle began.

This committed gamer is a part of Major League Gaming, MLG, and has been participating in many online competitions playing Call of Duty for a year and a half.

For three hours a day, Isern and three other players compete as a team in six tournaments a weekend.  Working 20 hours a week plus the hours of school and homework, requires a bedtime of 2 a.m.

He reveals a variety of locations where major competitions take place.

“Events are all over the world.  There’s the European League and there’s events in London, New York [and] California,” Isern said.

Although Isern has not traveled to play at one of these tournaments before, he plans to in the future.

“I do anticipate going pro,” Isern said.  “Pros make typically $100,000 a year from contracts and another $100,000 from YouTube if so chosen.”

Isern mentions how the prize money can vary between the levels of competition.

“[We] do compete for money.  There are online tournaments for $200-$300 but you split that with your teammates.  [Or] we play $5 a game.  So if we lose, we lose $5.  If we win, we win $5,” Isern said.  “But then you can play in tournaments for up to $50,000 and once a year they host a tournament for a million dollars in Las Vegas.”

Isern estimated, since the day he began competitive gaming, he has made $5,000 in which $1500 was invested back into his equipment.  He has made $3,500 profit, not bad for gaming around.

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