Quake is considered by many to be the original esports title, and Dennis “Thresh” Fong, a master at the gothic first person shooter, is known as the first professional gamer. After coming out on top at the 1997 Red Annihilation tournament in Dallas, Texas, Thresh was famously awarded Quake developer John Carmack’s modified Ferrari 328 GTS, launching him on a path to pro-gaming stardom. On Saturday, August 6, Thresh will become the second inductee into the Esports Hall of Fame during a ceremony to take place during QuakeCon 2016.
During his playing days, he was featured across mainstream media including a front page Wall Street Journal article and earned over $100,000 a year in endorsements, all unprecedented at the time. After retiring from competitive Quake at the age of 22, he entered the business side of things and emerged as an industry leader.
Thresh founded GX Media, which built the popular web portal gamers.com, and also co-founded Xfire, an online gaming instant message client that was acquired by Viacom in 2006 for $102 million. He is currently the CEO of the gameplay sharing service plays.tv and Raptr, Inc. a gaming focused software development company.
He is a founding father of esports and has left behind a legacy in all facets of competitive gaming as we know it, popularizing the now-standard WASD keyboard control scheme for the first person shooter genre and even inspiring the name of the League of Legends champion Thresh.