Teenager hopes to become professional gamer
A 13-year-old boy has earned around €2,000 gaming in tournaments since lockdown, and now he has his sights set on being one of the best in the world.
Alex Myler (13) aka Velociti, has been gaming since he was seven years old and during lockdown, the Co Wicklow schoolboy built a PC with his father, Dave.
This was the real “turning point,” the teenager said, as he moved from an Xbox and started to play Fortnite competitively on the PC. Alex has since won €2,000 competing in online tournaments.
The Coláiste Bhríde secondary school student said: “I started playing online a lot more in lockdown and I just realised this is what I want to do in my future.
“People don’t realise you can actually make a career from gaming. People watch me play online and I already have sponsorship. Kids need to follow their dream. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, they can make it, if they don’t give up.
“I believe I can make it and I want to be the best in the world.”
During one game Alex said he won €100 within minutes. However, gaming isn’t about money for the teenager.
He wants to build his reputation and become fully professional one day, which means competing on the world stage in front of gaming fans.
The schoolboy is so convinced of his dream, he recently turned up to a career event at school wearing a gaming hoodie, as he believes that gaming is as valid a job as any.
Alex’s hero is American teenager Kyle Giersdorf, who won over €3m in prize money in 2019 at the Fortnite World Cup Finals.
Alex plays with Syntacity, a global group of gamers and he’s hopeful he’ll be able to compete at TwitchCon in Amsterdam in July 2022.
The event has not taken place live during the pandemic, but Alex hopes that attending would give him a chance to meet other gamers from across the globe.
“I’d love to go, to meet the people I play online with, so I hope I make it there,” Alex said.
“The atmosphere would be amazing.”
The young man has become something of a name with some young gamers and he was even asked for his autograph recently.
“This kid stopped me and asked me if I was Velociti.
“I said ‘yes’ and he put down his bag, took his controller out and asked me to sign it,” Alex said.
“It was something else to be recognised outside by someone for my gaming.”
Alex’s mother, Paula, told the Irish Independent she’s fully behind her son’s passion and believes that he should follow his dream of becoming a full-time professional gamer.
“Alex has always loved gaming, since he was about seven,” she said.
“He would get gaming equipment for Christmas. But it reached another level in lockdown.
“Kids weren’t socialising and his love for Fortnite grew. He started to enter worldwide tournaments and he was getting better.
“His motivation grew. I think it’s important we support Alex’s dream. It’s what he loves.”
Alex’s favourite subjects in school include engineering and metalwork. He said: “It’s really important to study for school – but I love gaming when I’m not doing that or other commitments.”
Ms Myler monitors her son’s online use and said this was a very important aspect of parenting when it comes to teen gaming.