Local professional teen gamer earns a seat at a world-wide gaming competition
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Keagen Smith has been gaming since he was 2-years-old.
"I used to play a fish game with my mom on a laptop when my brother was napping then I’d play on my dad's DS," says Keagen Smith.
Smith says he’s always been fascinated with beating the games.
"Back on an old NHL game I would spend hours figuring out the perfect way to win. I would get a hundred goals before the second period was over," says Smith.
At 13-years-old, Smith says he had good reason to transition from playing the game on ice to on-line.
"Ultimately I quit hockey at that age. I mean I fell out of love with the sport and I was super interested with gaming and I started to see people could make money and a living off of being a professional gamer," says Smith.
Now at 18-years-old, Smith also known as 'P3NGU1N' in the gaming world, is considered a professional gamer and has earned a seat at what he calls the Stanley Cup of gaming competitions next year.
"It means everything I worked for is starting to pay off. I’ve worked really hard for four years to get onto a professional team and now that I’m on the professional team we work even harder to make it to the six invitational."
Smith says he owes a lot of his success to his supportive parents and a former high school teacher.
"He learned communication, he learned teamwork, support, loyalty, leadership. Everything we put him in hockey to learn he learned it through gaming. So at the end of the day I can’t get mad at him about that, he learned everything I wanted to him to learn," says Keagen’s mother, Nicole Smith.
"When you understand the game a little bit more, it definitely is competitive. There’s a lot involved. I’m so proud of Keagen for setting his mind to it and achieving this," says Shannon Munson, Smith’s former high school teacher.
"If your kid is super passionate about it, actually sit down and look at it. It’s not just playing pong. It’s super complex and you learn a bunch of skills. Be supportive," explains Smith.
Smith is spending ten to twelve hours a day practicing with his team, Altiora in the hopes of mastering the game, Rainbow Six Seige.
"It’s a three million dollar prize pool with first place winner taking home 33.3 per cent or a million. So that’s the ultimate goal is win that million dollars."
The championship tournament is scheduled in Europe in February.