Local gamer Keiron ‘Scoom’ Prescott saw his life change when he made his hobby into a professional career as an e-sports player. Mr Prescott who was at one time working in a civil service took the bold step of quitting his job to pursue gaming full-time. A move that has seen him travel the world, win tournaments and compete at the top level of his field.
Hours in front of a screen perfecting skills, technique and tactics on a game is Keiron Prescott’s bread and butter.
The 26-year-old admits his parents were weary of all his gaming, but now those hours have paid off.
Mr Prescott currently specialises in the game PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, and is Captain of ‘Team Liquid’. The team travel across the globe playing together in tournaments.
Despite fierce competition, particularly from China, the team which is based in the Netherlands has won the European Championships and placed second in the World Championships.
Last September he was also nominated for the esports PC player of the year award.
His choice game PlayerUnknown’s Battleground [PUBG] is an online multiplayer Battle Royale game which sees teams battle it out until the last man standing wins the round. The online game has sold millions of copies worldwide.
He started playing computer games aged 13 and was “hooked” on playing Call of Duty.
“Since then I have just loved it,” Mr Prescott said.
“I found my passion and I been playing since really. I played all day and I obviously didn’t study too much in my school days as I was all the time on my computer.”
He added his parents weren’t pleased of his constant gaming.
“I did get addicted to playing,” he said.
“It is something I do regret. I should have time managed both studying and playing games.”
Mr Prescott sent a message to all youngsters to make sure they study before playing games.
“But at the same time maybe if I didn’t fully focus into gaming, I wouldn’t be at the position I am now.”
Between the ages of 13 and 17 he had dreamt of playing e-sports professionally.
“I really wanted to do this,” he said.
“But I never found a game I was really good at or could stick to.”
At 17 he decided to a break, quit studying and find a job.
But, Mr Prescott’s route to gaming wasn’t always clear, then trying his hand at playing online poker professionally.
Once he was 18 years old Mr Prescott moved into the world of online poker.
“I tried it, became pretty successful at it, and became an online professional poker player for two years.”
He was making more money playing online poker than working at his job, so he quit to pursue poker.
“When I first told my parents, I wanted to play poker professionally, it was really bad,” he said.
“They didn’t want me to be gambling professionally and they were really against it.”
He completely understood their reservations, adding that although there is an element of luck there was skill.
“Even through that my parents still supported me.”
He played exclusively on Poker Stars, playing on cash tables.
“Normally people play one or two tables… But I was playing 24,” Mr Prescott said.
“24 tables all at one time. I would play 12 to 16 hours a day, 24 tables all the time for a few months in a row.”
At the time he would put in 100 dollars per tables, with a total of 2,400 dollars being played at any one time.
“I was earning more than what my parents would make on poker.”
Through playing poker Mr Prescott has been invited to participate in poker tournaments.
“Poker was fun, but gaming was always distracting me on the side.”
Bit by bit he played less poker and moved back to gaming.
“I got hooked into gaming and not play poker,” Mr Prescott said.
After he took a break from poker at the age 21, he never quite returned to poker.
Later he returned to work in the civil service in the Treasury Department.
He enjoyed the job, but wanted to return to gaming in 2015 and started streaming with Twitch.
After three months he was ‘partnered’, meaning that he was being paid by the video streaming website ‘Twitch’.
Mr Prescott is thankful for having parents who believe in him and trusted in him when he decided to leave his job in the civil service.
“It started getting really serious and I was having regular views and had enough money to live off,” he said.
A year later he was introduced to PUBG and continued to play eventually competing professionally in tournaments.
He later joined Team Liquid, becoming its captain.
“There has been a lot of tournaments and we’ve been the most successful,” he said.
Team Liquid has won of 500,000 dollars’ worth of prize money since they began competing in tournaments.
When in China, Mr Prescott is amongst some of the biggest fans of PUBG, having recently competed in a tournament in Hong Kong.
“Everyone recognised us, it was crazy,” he said.
“It’s a really surreal moment. In Gibraltar, no one would come up to me for a photograph and to sign.”
“The first time I experienced that in Berlin where 1,000 people waited to take photographs. But it was nothing compared to China.”