What just happened? Long gone are the days when playing video games all day was considered a waste of time. Even if someone doesn't become an esports pro, they could still make a lot of money by being really, really good at a particular game. Just ask Twitch streamer JerValiN, whose proficiency at Halo 2 has won him $20,000 for completing a challenge most considered impossible.
Streamer Charlie 'Cr1tikal' White set a challenge earlier this year for someone to complete a deathless 'Legendary All Skulls On' (LASO) Halo 2 Anniversary run. Casual players will know that finishing the game on Legendary difficulty is an arduous feat in itself, but turning on all but one of the skull modifiers and finishing the game without dying once makes it impossible---or so Cr1tikal thought.
The secret skulls found across the Halo franchise contain modifiers mostly designed to make the games harder, such as turning off the radar/entire HUD, increasing enemy difficulty, and halving the amount of dropped ammo. Cr1tikal was so confident nobody could do the deathless LASO run that he offered $5,000 as a reward. After several weeks of unsuccessful attempts, he increased it to $20,000.
Only one person previously completed a version of this challenge, JerValiN, but he had used the single modifier not allowed, Envy, which gives players invisibility instead of a flashlight.
Not surprisingly, it was JerValiN who finally managed to beat the ultimate challenge---becoming the first person known to have done so---in just under six-and-a-half hours. As is usually the case with speedruns, he had to use plenty of game bugs to get through it. But this was no easy win for the streamer; it took over a month of trying and on several occasions he failed close to the finish line.
Dot Esports notes that the number of streamers trying to win the money saw the Halo 2 category on Twitch explode to over 287,000 hours watched in July.
Now that the deathless LASO run has been conquered, JerValiN is planning on an even more difficult challenge, one in which he can't fire his weapon.