Get Really Good At Halo Reach – Make Six Figures – Who Knew?

Well, actually I did know because two of the Complementary Spouse’s nephews play Halo Reach professionally for teams in Major League Gaming (MLG Pro).

Today’s New York Daily News featured a story on a Halo Reach “boot camp” held in New York City and sponsored by Red Bull. The boot camp was for 12 players from 3 of the top MLG Pro teams. As to the money, Mike Chaves aka Flamesword had this to say:

“People make money from this, like six figures,” says Mike Chaves, better known in the gaming community as Flamesword, his gamer tag.

The e-athlete grew up playing video games in Bergen County, N.J. Once he realized there was serious coin in going pro, however, he upped the ante, practicing every day after school and traveling to tournaments on his own dime.

Today, the 21-year-old IT student is a professional gamer sponsored by Red Bull in the Major League Gaming circuit. His team, Status Quo, split $20,000 after taking first place in a Dallas championship in April. (Chaves wisely tucked most of his share into his savings account.)

You don’t get this good without a lot of practice. Aaron Elam, who also plays on Status Quo, had this to say about his schedule.

“I just graduated from high school, and it was really tough. Professional gaming is a full-time job,” says Elam, who enters the University of Kentucky next year. “A lot of gamers sign on late at night, so that’s when you have to play. Your sleep gets sacrificed a lot. You come home from school, work out, do your homework, play video games from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and then go to bed.”

You probably are wondering how a kid who games so much late at night even graduated from high school  much less got into college. Actually, from what I’ve seen, the top gamers are really bright and are not slackers. I think they are able to assess the situation quicker and thus outplay their opponents. Aaron, who is the Complementary Spouse’s nephew, is not only going to UK but is going on a scholarship and will be majoring in chemical engineering.


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