With the death of Michael Valore’s dream of being in the Marines came the birth of a new dream as a pro player of the hit mobile game Vainglory. The World Championship winner is best known as “FlashX” and currently works as a manager for esports group Team SoloMid (TSM).
Valore spoke to Heavy.com as part of a larger article about Vainglory’s path to esports success with the new 5V5 mode and later followed up via email for this very article. Here’s everything you need to know about Valore’s road to success.
1. How FlashX Became a Pro Player
London bound 😛 pic.twitter.com/QCzVwkjMGc
— FlashX (@FlashX) May 15, 2017
Valore told Heavy.com that while in elementary school a friend introduced him to Warcraft 3. He fell in love with the game as he and his friend took turns playing it and then bought the game for himself. One day he got bored and browsed through all the custom games and saw that the most played one was Defense of the Ancients (DOTA). He hopped into the game and was infatuated by the pairing of strategy and skill.
As he was studying biology in college, he picked up DOTA 2 and found himself good enough to go pro. But the second his skills in DOTA 2 grew his grades would drop. And then when he brought his grades back up, his DOTA 2 skills would drop. Rather than keeping up with this balancing act he decided to focus on school.
Valore planned on joining the Marines after college, spending over a year training himself to the highest level of fitness he ever achieved. However, a prior soccer injury to his ankle was so severe – way more severe than Valore knew at the time – that it disqualified him from enlisting in any armed services. Valore was devastated. “I was so sure that enlisting was my calling after college and having all of that wiped away in an instant was heartbreaking,” he told Heavy.com.
He spent the next four months at the campus gym riding on the stationary bike for three to four hours a day. He wanted to maintain the level of fitness he worked so hard to obtain and the bike was one of the few cardio-aerobic activities that didn’t cause any stress on his ankle as it continued to heal while keeping his heart rate up. After growing bored of the exercise after two days, he decided to start playing Vainglory on his iPad while pedaling. He first heard of the game when he watched the 2014 Apple Keynote where the game was announced. He told Heavy.com that he fell in love with the game and all that time playing it while on the bike naturally built up his skills.
He then joined a team that ended up winning a tournament that qualified them to go to the World Championships in Seoul, South Korea. However, the team’s expectations were not high. One of the teammates was 14 years old …read more