by Laura Moss
Though many moms decry the dangers of too much video gaming, Bambi Haddad doesn’t mind. Her son, Nick, 18, is not only world renowned for his gaming expertise, he’s making a living at it.
“His stats are mind boggling,” said Bambi.
Better known as “Gleeb” to his throngs of international fans, Nick is ranked six in pro players in his role of support in North America and Europe, 34 in North America verses United States alone when they rank all of the roles and 380 out of four million players, according to Bambi. “It is all a bit overwhelming, but we are so excited for him and proud of him,” she said. There are only 40 professional video gamers in the United States on eight teams.
Nick, who eschews the limelight and prefers a team approach, declined to be interviewed for this story. The recent Agoura High salutatorian plays League of Legends–a game so popular that colleges across the country are forming leagues of their own–for Team Solomid.
Currently, he lives by the beach in Santa Monica with a group of young men who share his love of gaming. His teammates hail from places like Canada, Germany, Denmark and go by names like Dyrus, Amazing, Bjergsen and Wild Turtle. These are his professional teammates otherwise known as Team TSM. They have rock star style promotional photographs, equipment sponsors, advertisers and their own website, www.solomid.net.
“His days are streaming and practicing and watching other teams to analyze strategies,” said Bambi.
The game League of Legends has it’s own landscape with specialty jobs like “Top Lane,” “Mid Lane,” “Jungle” and “AD Carry.” The team also has coaches. Haddad recently joined Team TSM as “support” which means his role is to ensure the success of the other players who have different objectives. He is the player who will sacrifice himself to ensure the team wins during the matches. There are weekly stadium style matches played in an arena featuring large video screens with professional game announcers who detail the action like ESPN sportscasters.
Nick himself has a healthy social media following: Twitter–34k followers, Twitch–69k followers and has ten thousand “likes” on his TSMGleeb Facebook page. He even has groupies, and fans love to send him fan art. For the most part, Nick’s followers are supportive, according to Bambi. Following a recent match, he received this message from a fan, “Well played Gleeb. Can’t wait to see you in more games.” Another fan went as far as to post, “Have you heard the good news of our Lord and savior…”
Those interested in following Nick live, click here.