PEOPLE magazine recently interviewed Rocky “RockyNoHands” Stoutenburgh about how, despite a freak accident completely turning his life upside down, he became one of the best players in the world in Call of Duty and Fortnite.
“I was at a graduation party actually and we left to go to my friend’s house. We were just hanging out and I started wrestling around with a buddy of mine and I got dropped on my head on a mattress and broke my back,” he told PEOPLE.
He was only 19 when he broke his back, paralyzing him from the neck down. Since he couldn’t use his hands anymore, he didn’t consider looking to video games for entertainment, much less as a future career. It was his brother who made video games a possibility for him. He found the Quadstick for Rocky, a hands-free device to help disabled gamers use PCs and consoles. It consists of a joystick that requires the mouth to operate and pressure sensors that Rocky can sip or puff onto instead of pressing buttons to perform actions.
“At first, I didn’t really want to get it because I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be as good as you guys with this thing. It’s impossible,'” Stoutenburgh said. “But you somehow kind of get it. And I played all day and all night for years and years, to this day.”
From heartbreak to esports hero
Now RockyNoHands is a professional player, one of the top competitive gamers in the country, and in fact, has signed with Luminosity. His story is an amazing tale of triumph, proving that anyone with dedication can overcome a hardship, even if it’s not the way you thought or planned. That’s something we can all learn from and be inspired by.
Full Disclosure: Luminosity is a subsidiary of Enthusiast Gaming, which also owns and operates Daily Esports.