You could say Matt Faithfull was fulfilling his royal duty when he claimed Toronto’s first regional title in Cineplex’s World Gaming Championships on Feb. 21. The 19-year-old Sheridan student (a.k.a. Royalty) beat out Hans Kurti (a.k.a. Aerroox), 2-1 in Call of Duty: Black Ops III, securing a spot in the Championship finals and a shot at $20,000.
Faithfull is a former member of Epsilon eSports, which placed fourth at UMG Dallas as well as third at the MLG Pro League Season 3 playoffs for Call of Duty, but he was unceremoniously dropped from the team shortly after. This was his first time going it alone, and for him it was a different experience.
“It’s one person against one person, with a crowd,” he said, acknowledging the audience gathered at the Scotiabank Theatre. “If you’re doing bad [on] a map, individually, you’re the only one who can lift your spirits, whereas your team will say, ‘Don’t worry about that map, we’ll get the next one’.”
Though he’s not pursuing a professional career in eSports, Faithfull does prepare for every game, adhering to a healthy diet.
“Before I play, or go to an event, I try to eat the best,” he said. “If you have a whole pizza, you’re going to feel sluggish.”
Kurti, 19, was calm and collected after the match, saying his friends encouraged the Ryerson marketing student to enter. The two combatants embraced and shook hands after the match, a civil display without any trash talk.
“I thought it would be a good experience,” Kurti said.
The National finals will take place in Toronto on March 6. Those who finish in second and third at the finals will not go home empty handed, receiving $8,000 and $3,500 respectively.
The other 23 regional winners include Brandon Bullock (Langley, B.C), Dennis Rentutar (Burnaby, B.C.), Tim Jin Tion Li (Calgary), Jason Conrad Reid (Edmonton), Tristan Keshane (Regina), Cross Jeffrey Hislop (Saskatoon), Francis Umandap (Winnipeg), Allameen Ally (Oakville), Brennden Nevin (Windsor), Jason Coles (Kingston), Braeden Gregory Pipher (Waterloo), Evan Howard Vart (Scarborough), Harminder Mall (Vaughan), Charlie Saouma (Ancaster), Seena Akbar (London), Alexander LaGrave-Warner (Ottawa), Andre Genier (Sudbury), Yoan Michel-Fontaine (Beauport, Que.), Tony Ngo (Montreal), Remar Suzon-Antonio (Laval), Gabriel Stephen (Halifax), Dillon Clinton Paul (Saint John) and David Dunne (St. John’s).