July Member Spotlight
Member Spotlight - Valen
When I was 6 years old, my mom bought a Nintendo 64 for Christmas and every weekend I would play Star Fox 64, Super Smash Bros., and other classic games. Since then my love for gaming has grown exponentially to the point where it has become a huge part of my life and helped shape my future.
The first online competitive multiplayer game I played was Star Wars: Battlefront II on the PlayStation 2 and I was quite good at it. With the release of the Xbox 360 and all my school friends buying one, I decided to do the same so I could play and compete with them about who was the better gamer. The first game I fell in love with on the 360 was Halo 3, I had played the original Halo games at my brother’s house on the original Xbox and enjoyed them a lot so I was thrilled when I tore apart the wrapping paper on my 13th birthday to see Master Chief on the box cover. I gathered all my friends and we sat around taking turns playing each other and I found myself always winning against them. From then on I took my gaming skills to online and made great friends as I dominated leaderboards and had all around fun playing the game I loved. I even attended MLG Orlando 2007 and watched my favorite team, Str8 Rippin, win the event.
In 2009, the hype for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was insane. I remember going to school and hearing everybody talk about the Super Bowl trailer with Eminem and how awesome it was. I had never played a Call of Duty title before but I decided to give this one a try, and I never looked back since. I consider Modern Warfare 2 to be the best Call of Duty game to date, it was fun, there was always something to do, new games to be played with friends in private matches, etc. I remember watching teams like EnVyUs and FeaR playing each other on Machinima, and discovering all my favorite YouTubers like Sark, Tebjz, and SeaNanners that motivated to go out and do my own thing whether it was YouTube or Competitive. However I didn’t fully immerse myself with competitive Call of Duty until the end of Black Ops 2.
With the rise of Call of Duty and the fall of Halo as MLG’s flagship title, I decided it was time to move up and give Competitive Call of Duty a chance. In Call of Duty: Ghosts I started off playing twitter tourneys and GBs but didn’t really have a great team as it was still just me and some friends that played. But as I started getting better and getting more noticed I found better teammates and made new friends and my stock as a player grew. I attended UMG Dallas as my first LAN event and finished with a dismal T70 placing, losing to Stunner in the Loser Bracket. Even with the poor placing and performance I still met great personalities and made connections with people that I consider being some of my closest friends to this day, and had a great time enjoying the event. From then on I was motivated to go to more events and get even better and have my name recognized.
I took a little break to focus on University and my other life as a graphic designer and during this time I joined SetToDestroyX as their Graphic Design Manager. Working with great minds I produced some of my best work to this date and enjoy being a part of this family. Being in STDx opened a lot of great opportunities for me and allowed me to grow as a player and a designer. I was grateful to be allowed to have my own team under the organization which was something I had strived for, for a long time. Taking my team to MES Detroit, we placed a decent T17 but we knew we could do better and hope to as time goes on and we keep working and grinding to become one of the best North American Call of Duty teams.
As a designer, player and manager of STDx I work behind the scenes and in the spotlight and I love doing what I do. Through eSports I’ve met some great people, done great things, and achieved so much, and I know there’s much more on the horizon. I’m excited to see what the future holds for me as well as the SetToDestroyX organization.
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