We shouldn't have listened. They told us to go to bed. That it was a school night. That playing videogames was nothing more than a waste of time. And as soon as we obeyed and hit the power button our fortunes--our literal millions of dollars-- flew out the window.

The Dota2 International ended yesterday with an $11 million prize pool. And, frankly, a solid chunk of it should have been ours if we followed our heart. If, instead of putting the controller down to chase a worthless ambition, we double downed and made videogames our ambition. Dota has been around for over ten years. Imagine what we could have accomplished in that time. Every single one of us pwned noobs at least once in our life, so what if we just never stopped?

Our parents would never understand. But in this brave new world, what side do you want to be on? When ESPN2 aired a Dota2 special--an unprecedented departure from the originally scheduled fifteen hours of uninterrupted SportCenter-- the earth tilted as nerds somehow managed to infect the last sacred realm of Sport. A single ear piercing scream of "Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrdddddssss" echoed across the country while dudes peeled Fatheads from their wall in disgust and poker obsessed stepfathers wondered if their pasty, limp wristed stepchildren had commandeered the TV clicker. That is the old. Are you ready for the new?

Don't worry that we're rusty and past our gaming prime. We don't have to be that great. Even the teams that finished 14th out of 16 teams walked away with $20k just for being the punching bag. Think about making that much money just for being the Dota equivalent of the Cleveland Browns. Hell, you probably have that much in student debt for a degree you don't use.

 Sure, playing videogames professionally is difficult, but how much of the day do you waste doing things you hate? We should have kept banging away at the keyboards until our wrists were swollen and our fingers arthritic, forever doing what we love like those kids in Neverland if they lived in constant fear of early onset diabetes.  So quit your job, head back to your parents basement with a case of Mountain Dew, and let the future begin.


– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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