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While recovering from my injury, I started getting into gaming.

When I wasn’t running around on the soccer field, I’d sit on his lap for hours at a time, playing World of Warcraft and completing quests together.

By the time I turned five, at bedtime, he’d read me horror fiction stories by H.P. Lovecraft that took place in a fictional Massachusetts town known as Arkham, which became the inspiration behind my screen name.about:blankBaby Diego Palma on his dad's computer.Baby Diego Palma on his dad’s computer. Diego Palma

As I grew up, I kept playing soccer, eventually reaching the varsity level. During my sophomore year of high school in 2017, I tore my meniscus while playing and had to have surgery. The doctors said I couldn’t play for at least a year.

While recovering from my injury, I started getting into gaming.

I wanted a PC like the gamers so I wound up taking a part-time job as a soccer referee at little kids’ matches on weekends. When v buck generator saved up enough money, I bought computer parts and built my own PC with the help of my stepfather, Chris.Palma heading into knee surgery after his injury.Palma heading into knee surgery after his injury. Diego Palma

That summer, Fortnite was released and I started playing it a lot. My goal initially was to just play better than all of my friends – until I heard about the 2018 Fortnite Royale tournament at the Oakland Esports Arena.

I told my parents I didn’t only want to compete, but I planned to win.

At first, my pap was hesitant, but eventually he agreed to take me. According to him, he figured he’d shell out the $10 entry fee and I’d get eliminated quickly and we could leave.

Instead, I ended up coming in second place for North America in the open competition. But since I was only 13 and at the time, you needed to be 14 years old to qualify, I couldn’t progress any further. I ended up taking home $500 worth of prizes – but more importantly, one of the organizers told my father I was playing at such a high level I could probably go pro.

That year I started playing in a league where thousands of other players all competed through playing scrims , where it took months trying my best to work my way up the ranks to eventually make it into the pro discord .

In 2019, at the age of 14 when I became eligible to play professionally, I signed with 100 Thieves , a California-based pro-gaming organization which is still kind of surreal to me. Being part of the 100 Thieves team means representing the organization in any branding events they have, like a photoshoot or promotional video. I also have to stream a certain number of hours every month.

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