Eye of the Tiger

Gamer takes control, practices for dream career

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(NICK PROVENCAL/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICK PROVENCAL/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICK PROVENCAL/EYE OF THE TIGER)

AJ WELKER

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Roseville High School senior Dalton Gerstle’s idea of a dream professional career includes one hand on a keyboard, the other on a mouse. Gerstle’s passion lies in Counter Strike, a multiplayer, first-person shooter video game requiring skill and precision in order to excel.

“It’s not a game that you can just get on and be good at,” Gerstle said. “You have to actually practice, and try, and see your mistakes.”

In order to continue progressing in Counter Strike, Gerstle required better equipment and more practice.

“I had a really bad computer at the time; but then I did umpiring for two years and made up enough money to get myself a computer,” Gerstle said. “I just really enjoyed putting all the hours into it.”

According to Gerstle, the improved gaming equipment and practice helped him progress, and even led him to participate in more advanced gameplay.

“I decided to get third party services, like ESEA and FACEIT, which are the most competitive leagues of Counter Strike,” Gerstle said.

These leagues are both advanced gaming communities and leagues which prevent cheating to ensure a higher level of gameplay.

However, according to his friend Jimmy Weninger, the new equipment didn’t lead to an easier gaming experience for Gerstle. Weninger, having gamed with Gerstle since the two were in middle school, believes that his friend’s skill comes from a lack of reliance on “high settings,” or a high amount of resources aiding gameplay.

“He plays on really low settings, but he’s still really good,” Weninger said. “If he got the proper setup and was talking to the right people, then he could really make something out of it.”

The professional gaming lifestyle Gerstle pictures is different than the one many imagine. According to Gerstle, the idea of sitting in front of a computer in a dark room for hours on end while making thousands upon thousands of dollars couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“[It includes] travelling a lot, meeting new people, new experiences, being away from family a lot,” Gerstle said, delineating a few of the many aspects involved in a professional gaming career.

Weninger acknowledges Gerstle’s progression as a Counter-Strike player.

“He’s always been the most passionate, probably, in our friend group about actually getting better and improving, and trying to make something out of it,” Weninger said.

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