Friday, May 17, 2013
Garland gamer throws enough virtual pitches to earn $25,000
Brad Holland will have a chance to win even more money in NYC.
GARLAND Who said playing video games for 24 to 48 hours at a time never offered real-life benefits? Well, OK, I’ve defended gaming staunchly and often, but even I would say that’s going a little far.
Then again, if I had just won $25,000 doing it, in addition to a trip to New York for a chance to win $250,000 more, I’d probably sing a different tune.
That’s the situation Brad Holland from Garland finds himself in, having earned a top four slot in 2K Sports’ Perfect Pitch Challenge. He’s won money for playing one of the “most perfect” games of MLB 2K13 recorded during the contest time frame. 2K recorded more than 785,000 perfect game attempts made by players vying for a piece of $1 million in total prize money. As the highest scoring player using the Pittsburgh Pirates, Holland has won $25,000 already, and he’s qualified to compete for the $250,000 grand prize at the T-Mobile All-Star FanFest in New York this July.
Scores were determined by an algorithm that took into account the player’s performance in relation to the particular matchup’s difficulty rating, while also imposing specific rules unique to the Perfect Pitch challenge. For example, players were not allowed to pause their game during each high score attempt, which Holland told me lasted about half an hour each for him.
Holland earned a spot at the top of the leaderboard early before falling to the fourth and final top spot before the contest ended. “I think it was like the first week and a half of the event,” that he earned his highest score, he said. “I ended up probably staying up 24 hours just to try to get that early high score up there.”
He didn’t sit back and relax while he was on top, though. “If I was sleeping, someone else was going to be up trying harder,” he said. “Figured I wanted it bad enough, and I ended up staying up 24 to 48 hours at a time if there were good matchups that day [for the contest].”
This is understandably something that many people would call crazy. Even if we weren’t talking about a video game, I wouldn’t recommend staying up that long to read a book or play chess. But his family and friends were apparently supportive — even in their lack of understanding.
“My parents are pretty surprised, and my sister, I still don’t think she really believes it,” Holland told me. “But I guess when I get that check she’ll believe it then.” She’ll have to, I guess. It’s hard to argue with that kind of money.
I wondered if he would still be in good spirits if he hadn’t ended up winning anything. “I still would have enjoyed it,” he replied, “but I was pretty confident that I would at least get one team score prize, which I did. I didn’t really expect to get one of the top four spots with my score, because it was kind of low, but it ended up paying off. I was pretty confident.”
Responsibly, Holland says he intends to use the money he’s already won to pay off his truck, and he’s thinking about investing the rest. If he wins the grand prize of $250,000, that’s a lot of investments.
While he’s a Texas Rangers fan when it comes to real life sports, Holland didn’t earn his highest scores with the team. The best Rangers player during the challenge, if you’re curious, was Chris Brown from Fayetteville, Arkansas. He used pitcher Justin Grimm. There were 129 perfect games with the Rangers (which was the fourth highest overall), led by 37 with Yu Darvish.
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