Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel
was recently awarded a “Lifetime achievement award” for his role in e-sports at the Leipzig Games Convention held annually in Germany since 2002.
This is the first time the eSports award has been given for lifetime achievement since its inception four years ago. The award ceremony was televised and players from throughout the community were awarded accolades for major achievements. Gamers were not the only ones in the running for awards, with athletes, teams, journalists and developers who are involved in eSports given proper recognition for their work and sportsmanship over the past while.
Fatal1ty accepted the award very graciously and was visibly moved to be honored. Some notable quotes from his acceptance speech included “I’m a fierce competitor” and “Gaming requires us to show up, be the best we can be, not just as gamers but as human beings.”
Fatal1ty also mentioned that at the relatively young age of 26 he never expected nor dreamed to get a “lifetime achievement award” and he hopes he can continue contributing to e-sports and video gaming and maybe he will one day receive another such award.
Jonathan said that when he started gaming, he had only three goals:
1) To travel overseas and play video games,
2) To be World Champion,
3) To be a role model for gamers around the world.
In each segment, he has achieved his goals admirably, and this latest award at the mid-point of his career is sure to be a treasured highlight.
After contacting the European Freeplayers Manager, Mr Birger de Geyter, he was able to tell me that we can expect Toxic (Ranked #1 at GotFrag) and Fojji/Fox (ranked #5 at GotFrag) to be competing in the next WSVG event during E For All in Los Angeles. Whereas Stermy, (Ranked #4 at GotFrag) will be competing in the next CGS Season in 2008 for the San Francisco OPTX team. The three players forming the backbone of the Freeplayers Organisation have certainly got a busy season ahead. Birger was unable to comment further but referred me to Fatal1ty Media Contact. I sent them a few questions over email, but it seems that labor day has slowed down the advantages of lightening speed technology and we will have to wait for the next installment to see what the answers to those few questions will be.
More to come, stay tuned.
When Fatal1ty heard that there were a few questions about the awards from Fudzilla, he wanted to make sure that the replies were a little more than the official words usually stored for such questions, and added a few thoughts, just to give it that Fatal1ty touch. He firstly encouraged me to say once again thank you on his behalf, to all the fans and foes alike who have helped make his brand a success.
The main questions are:
When will you (Fatal1ty) compete in a competition again?
The Fatal1ty team is extremely busy in all aspects of eSports, and even though I don’t compete directly, I feel I contribute in as many ways as I can through giving advice, counseling younger players, tutoring and even coaching. As to when I will compete again, who can say except that knowing my competitive nature, it’s only a matter of time before I get back in the game and do something exciting.
I understand you are a Shoutcaster for CGN. What does this new role entail exactly?
In December 2006, I (Johnathan) joined forces with Championship Gaming Series (CGS) as an exclusive on-air analyst, global spokesperson and gaming ambassador to help establish competitive video gaming as a 21st century sport.
Fatal1ty you mentioned competitions all over the world during your acceptance speech, but failed to mention Africa/India and South America. As these are the poorer countries in terms of access to technology and gaming, Does the Fatal1ty team have a plan to bring gaming to these less fortunate sectors?
Well if you know a bit about me, you will know I have been to every continent to play video games, except Antarctica, and who knows, maybe one day there will be a tournament there. I have definitely been to the African continent, gaming competitively in South Africa and I was surprised by the level of development there. The development of eSport and games is definitely not held back by technology in some of these less developed countries. What is missing is the highly competitive combatants such as myself and peers who get to compete over the internet at almost the same level as if at a LAN. It would be great if more of the big name brands that are already there in those poorer countries pump some cash into setting up tournaments to attract the stars like my Freeplayers. But at the same time those same companies should do everything they can to improve internet bandwidth so many more players in those countries can interact and compete more over the internet. Over time, with constant exposure those 3rd world countries would be much more competitive. Making it harder for first world countries to dominate eSports.
Thanks Johnathan for your time, and good luck for the future, I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more about Johnathan (Fatalt1y) Wendel as time goes on.
If you are a fan, you can catch Johnathan and all the action on DirecTV’s channel 101, Sky or Star as well as a live stream on www.thecgs.com