“When I started out, I just played for fun,” says Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, a professional gamer who has carved out a name for himself as champion in one of the most popular online video games in the world,League Of Legends.
As a kid growing up in Oahu, Hawaii, Hill mostly kept to himself, and he’d opt to stick around in his room getting good at games like Halo 2 and SOCOM: US Navy SEALs instead of playing outdoors with kids from the neighborhood. Eventually, he spotted an ad for League of Legends and climbed to the top with his two favorite champions.
Outside of League, Hill finished high school and, like most other people his age, struggled to adjust after graduation. During the day he’d work at his dad’s plumbing company as an apprentice – a job he hated – and at night he slowly worked to become one of the world’s best League players. Despite his skill and popularity in the community, Hill’s day job and slow Hawaiian internet put a hard cap on his ability to reach professional status. But his friends were out making moves, and eventually, high-profile player Andy Dinh invited him to come live in his gaming apartment in New York.
“Playing League professionally is like, you get a lot of development in one area, and you put a pause on a certain area,” Hill’s former coach and house-mate Dan Dinh says. “Specifically, one of Dyrus’ shortcomings is that he’s really quiet and doesn’t express things. He bottles everything up, and then he explodes.”