When Regina's Mathew Fiorante was a kid, he never dreamed playing Halo would make him rich by age 19. On Sunday, that's exactly what happened.
Fiorante and three teammates he met online from the U.S. won the largest world championship tournament in Halo history in Los Angeles.
"It's just an amazing feeling after. Really, no words can describe," Fiorante said.
'I would never, ever would think that playing a video game like Halo would take me here.' - Mathew Fiorante
Halo is a popular fantasy game where players fight in an interstellar war between humans and aliens.
Fiorante, known as royal2, was on a four-person team competing for one of the highest-ever prize pools for the Halo game. The team plays under the CLG banner, part of Counter Logic Gaming: an organization of competitive gamers who compete around the world.
The prize? For top spot his team split $1 million US between the two. That means Fiorante is taking home about $325,000 CA.
"I would never, ever would think that playing a video game like Halo would take me here," he said.
Fiorante had put all his efforts into winning the tournament. He even held off attending the University of Regina to dedicate his efforts to practicing for it.
"I just wanted to put everything to the side and just focus on Halo because of how big this is and how kind of, like life-changing this is," he said.
But he didn't let the pressure get to him when it was the crucial moment.
Fiorante said during the big game, he treated it like any other.
"As soon as the game starts, I'm not even thinking about it. I'm not even worried. It doesn't affect me. I'm just here to win and that's all I really want to do," he said.
Now, after winning what he says was the largest console tournament payout in history, he's not showing signs of stopping any time soon.
"I would not stop playing ever, just because of money. I'd always keep competing," he said. "I usually just play for pride. Winning is such a big part for me."
If anything, the win has given him reason to keep going. And of course, it helped further justify his career path to his already supportive parents.
"After we won, my dad's like, 'Well finally, all these years, it's finally paid off.' "
"He's, like, super proud of me," he said.