PROFESSIONAL FUTURE: Brodie Ryan has shown freakish skills in his flourishing gaming career.
PROFESSIONAL FUTURE: Brodie Ryan has shown freakish skills in his flourishing gaming career. Sam Flanagan

Gamer heads to U.S for high-stakes tournament

THE gaming world has come a long way since Pacman and Snake.

In an industry now worth billions of dollars, professional gamers can make a fortune by competing around the globe in lucrative tournaments.

It all sounds like fantasy, but Dalby's Brodie Ryan is on the cusp of breaking through to the big time.

The 16-year-old said he'd been gaming for as long as he could remember and used to fall asleep on his old man's lap while he was playing games.

"Competitively I've been playing games since 2012," Brodie said.

"It was at the start of 2016 after PAX Australia, which is a gaming convention, that I really wanted to start playing (professionally).

"They had a one versus one competition there ... I ended up winning the whole thing against a 28-year-old who had played that game for 10 years."

Brodie, who says his forte is first-person shooter games, flew to the US last Wednesday to compete in the finals of an international gaming tournament.

Held in Atlanta, the Paladins Masters has a team of five from each continent fight it out for US$100,000.

Brodie has played Paladins for only a few months but said he'd found the transition fairly easy because the game was similar to Overwatch, one of his favourites.

Now Brodie and his four teammates are intent on proving their worth in the high-stakes finals.

"I signed on to Kanga (an Australian gaming team) at the beginning of the year ... I was playing a different game for them, but then they took me on for Paladins," he said.

"They launched the Paladins Global Series at the beginning of the year and I came into the team in the third month. It was a bit rough at the start for me but we were still able to win through all of the qualifiers and make the Masters.

"We play for two or three hours a day, scrimmaging against other teams in the region (for practice)."

Brodie says he will save whatever money he is able to take home from the Masters, having already pocketed money from the qualifying phase.

"I'm currently making a decent amount of money with the PGS. Every time you win, the team gets US$2000 ... so we get that every month."

The Paladins Masters will be played in front of a live audience at an eSports arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

The event runs from May18-20 and will be a best-of-three format.

You can watch a livestream of the tournament at masterpaladins.com.