Photo: Courtesy of Quantic Gaming
At last weekend’s Major League Gaming (MLG) StarCraft II (SC2) Summer Arena, we caught up with Chris “Illusion” Lee, a rising star in Team Quantic Gaming.At just 16 years of age, he’s a rising high school junior, mildly concerned with balancing school, grades, and extracurriculars.
Only his extracurriculars aren’t the typical activities you would expect from a boy who’s just 16.
Chris is also a professional SC2 player and spends at least six hours a day practicing.
He tells Business Insider that even during the school year he still manages to get around six hours of practice time in a day. “My schedule during the school year is pretty much I go to school, do homework… sometimes, and then play StarCraft. In my free time, I play StarCraft all day, unless I’m going out with friends. So I want to play eight hours a day, but I have to sleep.”
During the school year, he’s based in Virginia, where he lives at home with his mother and father. His parents, Chris adds, have never watched him play at a big event but think it’s very “cool” that he gets to travel the world playing games.
The humble 16-year old credits his age and dedication to the practice for his early boost onto the SC2 scene. He states, “people knew me for a while, but my breakout event was in 2011 at the MLG pro circuit event in Providence.”
That recognition earned him a recent invitation (three weeks ago, actually) to stay and train at the San Diego-based Team Quantic house. For now he lives there with four other teammates and have a fairly rigid training schedule: “Every day we play eight hours a day. Four hours, then an hour break, then another four hours. It’s more fun [playing with a team] because there’s people around you, rather than just sitting home alone and talking to people online.”
When we asked whether he thought he was sacrificing a normal high school life, Chris replied that he “preferred it this way. It’d probably be different if I was on a soccer team, but what I do is I replace that soccer team with StarCraft. Plus I get to travel everywhere, so everything is good.”
As far as the future’s concerned, he doesn’t know exactly what he wants to do, but it better involve e-sports: “I want to be like “BoxeR” (Lim Yo Hwan, a 31-year old South Korean SC2 player), he’s around 30 and he’s still playing. After that, though, I just want to do something related to e-sports. So maybe casting, or maybe something business related.”
Check out Game one of Chris’ breakout performance at MLG Providence 2011 below.
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