2:46 Student life after the bell News

Semi-professional gaming serves as hobby and a passion

By Charles Louis Dominguez ’14
THE ROUNDUP

For some, video gaming is something that ends as a childhood pastime.

This is not the case for Paine Harris ’13, a semi-professional “Dota 2” player.

“Dota 2” is an online action real-time strategy game.

Players can gain early access to the game through an invitation process. Those seeking to play the game find friends who are in possession of “keys” that allow people to access “Dota 2” through Steam, a gaming service.

The objective of the game requires destroying the enemy’s base, providing a steep learning curve for players.

It’s a team effort, Harris said.

“With a lot of video games nowadays, it’s easy to just run in and play by yourself, getting the most points, but this game is really about communication,” Harris said. “The most appealing aspect to me is being able to work with four other guys towards a common goal.”

Harris currently dedicates much of his time outside of school to the game, playing semi-professionally.

“Professionally for me would be being financially independent through the game, so only devoting your time towards that, practicing every day,” Harris said. “Semi-professionally for me is practicing when I can and playing in a league where there is a potential cash prize.”

Still, money and winning are not the main goal for him.

“It’s definitely a hobby,” Harris said. “It’s not something that I could see as a career; I could see it as a very serious hobby.”

Through Steam, Harris said he has currently dedicated around 700 hours to “Dota 2.”

When asked what keeps him coming back he cites the variety that the game offers, and being very interested in the mental stimulation that it entails, comparing it to chess.

“If you meet up with another person who plays “Dota 2” and they’re into it like you are, you can spend hours just talking about games,” Harris said.

Although it has not been released publicly yet, he imagines that it’s going to be extremely well-received, already having garnered a small but dedicated community.

“It’s definitely going to be a very, very popular game when it’s officially released,” Harris said.

Although it is not currently as popular as games such as “League of Legends,” seniors Miles Kent ’13 and Cole Walsh ’13 are among a small Brophy community that plays “Dota 2.”