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Get on his level

Senior Logan Long makes it into the Pro Leagues as an eSports gamer

PHOTO ARIANNA GOMEZ

PHOTO ARIANNA GOMEZ

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Most two-year-olds enjoy playing with their blocks and baby dolls, but senior Logan Long was not your average toddler and started out his gaming career before he could even read.

“Since my parents were both working and very busy, I had to stay at a babysitter’s place and luckily they had a Playstation 1,” Long said. “Ever since then, gaming has been my passion, because it’s an easy way to just indulge yourself in a completely different world and not have to worry about anything going on for a few hours. Plus, it helps pass the time whenever you’re bored.”

Long’s love for gaming started when he discovered games like like “Spyro,” “Crash Bandicoot” and “Rayman Legends.” He has now taken his passion into the professional gaming world.

“I play a game called “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”,” Long said. “I started playing this game in about 2013 and was playing it on and off until 2015 when I started to go competitive.”

Long has spent about 4,900 hours playing the game, while most people at his level play between 7,000 and 10,000 hours.

ESL, originally Electronic Sports League, an eSports company which organizes competitions worldwide, is the world’s largest esports company and the oldest professional esports organization that is still operational.

“I got into ESL Pro League (EPL) by winning the Mountain Dew League (MDL) tournament in New York. My rise to professional was a lot faster than most people, because I only played each division once except for Main where I played two seasons.”

Long explained that most people play multiple seasons of MDL and Main before making professional, but he and his team continue to defy the odds.

“The major thing that stands out about our team is how young we are,” Long said. “We have three 17-year-olds, a 21-year-old and a 27-year-old. Normally, in the “Counter-Strike” scene, players don’t make Pro League until 19 or 20 and most people in Pro League are about 21 and up.”

But this is just the beginning of Long’s career as a Pro League gamer and his teammates believe he is a vital player on team Dignitas.

“Logan’s a great asset for our team because he brings some much needed maturity to our team and discipline,” fellow teammate and in-game leader Matthew Elmore said. “Most of our team is Logan’s age and it’s kind of night and day how much more serious he can be sometimes than the others.”

PHOTO ARIANNA GOMEZ

His assets set him apart from his teammates to help strengthen the team’s overall performance.

“His best qualities are that if he messes up he immediately knows and accepts it to try to move forwards and better himself and the team,” Elmore said. “He’s not afraid to speak up and genuinely wants to win and improve no matter what. It’s rare to find that in a person.”

Long’s self-awareness is only surpassed by his passion for gaming and growing as a gamer.

“My favorite part about being a gamer is simply living my childhood dream of getting paid to play video games, that being it’s only one video game, but hopefully I can expand that in the future to many other games by live streaming.”

According to Esports Earnings Long has earned a total of $2073.33 in prize money from a six tournaments he has competed in.

With all the positives of professional gaming come some negatives though.

“The only downside to gaming is the negative connotation it gets from everybody because they think that I’m just going to sit in my moms basement until I’m 40-years-old and never accomplish anything with my life, but quite frankly it’s the exact opposite. I hope that soon people will understand what it means to be a professional gamer and not be so hard on people who decide to make that career choice.”

Since joining his newest team Long has already showed growth in his gaming skills.

“He’s had to grow up a lot in our team. When we won Mountain Dew League to make it into the Pro Leagues we had three 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old [on our team], so you can imagine everyone liked to goof off a lot myself included,” Elmore said. “He’s had to be the voice of reason many times and been put in positions that kids his age most of the time don’t have to.”

 

His skill has improved dramatically over the last half year and most of that is because of his attitude and determination.

His leadership skills and positive attitude have helped Long get to where he is today.

“The main thing I want people to get out of this is simply follow your dreams no matter how unreal they may seem within reason.””

— Logan Long

“He’s always encouraging and making jokes whether we are winning or losing and that’s a great quality to have,” Elmore said. “He’s only going to get better from here on out because of his attitude, and I’m glad that I was able to meet him and help him out on his journey to the top. I mean the kid makes money playing video games playing for Team Dignitas who are backed by the Philadelphia 76ers. That’s pretty cool.”

Beyond gaming, Long advises that the way to be successful in what you want is to follow your dreams.

“The main thing I want people to get out of this is simply follow your dreams no matter how unreal they may seem within reason,” Long said. “I had my doubts many times that maybe I was just wasting my time because it seemed like there were people way better than me and that I would never make it, but with enough time and effort it doesn’t matter if someone is more qualified. Just follow your dreams and forget what everyone else says about it because doing what you love is the most important thing you can do.”

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Get on his level