A familiar face to the world of competitive video gaming is set to be part of Robot Combat League, the newest addition to the SyFy programming lineup.
Gaming pro Ciji Thornton, better known in some circles as StarSlay3r, is part of team Drone Strike in the new series, in which teams compete in combat using eight-feet-tall humanoid robots. For the famed Guitar Hero competitor, her participation in the series was an unexpected career twist.
“I never expected all of this would happen because of a video game,” Thornton said. “It was never my goal, but I appreciate everything that has come out of it.”
Robot Combat League is actually Ciji’s second reality TV series, having previously appeared in the first season of WCG Ultimate Gamer in 2009. She said that in addition to robotic combat, viewers should expect a variety of other aspects.
“They can expect the usual,” she said. “Me trying my best, a bit of drama, good sportsmanship and some kick-assery as well. One important key factor is that people realize that ‘Reality TV’ is not all real. They need to realize that this show is for entertainment purposes only. What happens on these shows doesn’t totally represent how we are in the real world.”
While not directly tied to video game competition, Thornton stated those familiar with her gaming accomplishments can look for references in the series.
“Team Drone Strike will definitely be bringing many gamer references into the show, if they didn’t catch them and cut them out that is,” she said. “Hopefully some subtle things made it past the editing process.”
Transferring success in video gaming to appearances on television and mainstream media can be challenging, according to Thornton. She has advice for competitive gamers seeking such opportunities for themselves.
“Depending on what game you play, it could be very hard,” she stated. “For example, if I tried to become a pro based solely off Guitar Hero alone today I’d be pretty screwed. There are only really a few Guitar Hero competitions a year now and they are very small. Obviously if you play a more popular game like League of Legends or a first-person shooter game you’re going to have a better chance to get sponsored.”
Despite the challenges, Ciji states that opportunities await anyone in gaming that puts enough into it.
“You basically just have to practice your ass off, compete every chance you get, go to as many gaming events as possible and network to help get your name out there and constantly maintain your social networks and market yourself,” she said. “It’s a lot harder than most people think. I think a lot of gamers don’t realize the process could take years and give up too soon. If you’re serious you won’t give up.”
More on Ciji Thornton can be seen from her official website at www.StarSlay3er.com.
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