How would you feel winning $100,000 playing your favorite video game? What if you were just 18-years-old?
Enter professional gamer Dillon “Attach” Price, an eSports prodigy and the first guest on our newest Foodbeast interview series Just Warmin’ Up.
Dillon was a freshly minted 18-year-old when his 4-person team took home the gold at the 2015 Call Of Duty championship. As Dillon celebrated the $400,000 win on-stage with his teammates, the moment sunk in — all those hours playing video games were finally paying off.
In our inaugural episode, I speak with Price about his rise to eSports success before heading to a 1v1 tournament, where he proves that he is so good at Call Of Duty that he can beat me while casually finishing an entire serving of Cup Noodles®.
Pioneering fame and shaping an industry
Today, not even a full year later, I’m inviting Price to my house to divulge more of his unconventional journey.
Since his career-defining win in 2015, Price’s social media following has ballooned. Hundreds of thousands of followers are locked in to every one of his Tweets, YouTube videos, Instagram photos, and Twitch livestreams. Over the course of our Interview, I quickly learn that Dillon isn’t just a kid who makes money through competitive video gaming, he’s a humble content creator, entrepreneur, and athlete building a business around an eSports industry in its infancy.
In the traditional sports arena — we’ll use professional basketball as an example — , you understand where your money comes from. Being a part of a team will net you a salary and endorsements. However, their quality and lucrativeness hinge on how a player hones their image. Moreover, their workload consists of maintaining their body for optimal performance. While similar tropes ring true for eSports, it can still be considered a sport whose immediate future is still very malleable. Decisions Price makes in his career have reverberations effecting how other eSports players organize deals, make money, and how video game publishers continue to organize the industry.
Dillon livestreams his gaming sessions as one of the many ways he interacts with his fans.
eSports athletes like Dillon Price not only make money from competitive play, but the most successful personalities in the space build a personal brand through social media and subsequently end up extending the sport’s reach through their experimentation. Take for example his Twitch streaming side of the business. In what other sport are players monetizing their practice sessions?
The Grind: What if the rules of the game change?!
If you follow Price on social media, whether watching a stream or through one of his vlogs on YouTube, you’ll find him doggedly referring to a “grind” that’s never over.
Unlike traditional sports, and other eSports, Call Of Duty has one anxiety-ridden wrench it throws into the sport every year — a fluid and ever-changing set of game mechanics. What used to be a ground-based, first person shooter game on planet Earth can turn into a high-flying jet-pack wearing space shooter with a new game release.
Imagine being a basketball player known for their exceptional free-throw percentage, and suddenly, in the latest “season,” the free throw line is taken out of the game?
Ironically enough, our interview takes place on the dawn of the release of the most recent Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare. I ask Dillon how he deals with the transition every year, and his answer exudes confidence:
“That’s what differentiates Call Of Duty from any other eSport. Pretty much, you have to play [the new] game for a few months, try to become the best, go to all the tournaments you can, and then it’s a new game that you need to practice, that you need to relearn.”
Within his assured response I picked up on the simple reminder that hard work can be a blindingly powerful force for success.
New, unfamiliar Call Of Duty game comes out on the market? Dive deep into your bedroom, practice hard, and come out skillful on the other end. It’s that simple for Dillon. If you spend enough hours playing Call Of Duty, you can eventually destroy opponents while literally eating dinner.
Bon appétit Dillon, can’t wait to see what you achieve next.
This content was created in partnership with Cup Noodles®.