Dustin Willingham is ‘The Gamer’

Kacey Neese Managing Ed., Online

Dustin Willingham has been in gaming tournaments around the world.  Photo by Luis Martinez
Dustin Willingham has been in gaming tournaments around the world. Photo by Luis Martinez

Dustin Willingham recently left the competitive gaming world to pursue a degree in finance. “I really like gaming but feel like I am too old to continue playing,” said Willingham, who is 26.
According to The Lions Perspective, a gaming website, the average pro gamer’s age is 21.

“I still play games but not professionally. I mostly play League of Legends now,” said Willingham.

Willingham has participated in several Halo tournaments. “I have been everywhere from D.C. to Anaheim, N.Y. and Paris. In D.C. my team placed number 1 out of around 200. In Anaheim, I placed number 1 in a free-for-all.”

He said, “The worst experience that I can think of was in Dallas, Texas. In the middle of the night someone called in a bomb threat to the hotel I was staying at. Everyone was evacuated, and we had to stand outside for two or three hours.”

Willingham said, “A lot of dedication goes into being a professional gamer. It takes lots of practice to rank in tournaments. At one point I was playing almost 13 hours a day.”

Willingham also commented on the importance of rank in tournament. He said, “If you do not rank you might lose your sponsorships. Most of my sponsors were game makers.”

Major League Gaming Inc. is a professional eSports organization that sponsors events such as Halo tournaments. The Halo tournaments are often aired on YouTube and Twitch T.V. Some of Willingham’s game play can be found under his alias, NapoleanBraa.

Being a finance major, Willingham hopes to continue working with gaming. “I want to go into finance so I can still be a part of the gaming community, just on the financial side,” he said.