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Johnathan Wendel

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Fatal1ty 2014.jpg
Personal information
NameJohnathan Wendel
Born (1981-02-26) February 26, 1981 (age 41)
Career information
Playing career1999–2008

Johnathan Wendel (born February 26, 1981), more commonly known by his online alias Fatal1ty[1] (pronounced "Fatality"), is a former professional esports player[1] of the first-person shooter titles Quake and Painkiller and entrepreneur.[2] He was an early pioneer of competitive gaming and was once considered one of the best professional gamers in the world.[3][4] He founded Fatal1ty Inc., which licenses the Fatal1ty brand to gaming accessory manufacturers.[5]

Playing career

Fatal1ty turned professional in 1999 at age 18 playing Quake III Arena.[6]

Wendel has won about US$450,000 in cash and prizes from professional competitions, mainly in the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL).[citation needed] In addition to receiving numerous product partnerships with his company Fatal1ty Brand (Fatal1ty, Inc.), he has been featured in mainstream newsprint publications such as Time, The New York Times, Forbes, and the BBC World Service. He has also been featured on 60 Minutes. He has a training regimen[7] where he practices at least eight hours each day, sometimes more.

Wendel has been a successful competitor in many first-person shooter games. He debuted as a professional gamer in October 1999 by placing 3rd in the Quake III Arena tournament at the CPL's FRAG 3 event. He has competed in tournaments with Counter-Strike, Call of Duty and Quake III Arena which he won with his team clan Kapitol at the first-ever CPL Teamplay World Championships (FRAG 4).[citation needed] Most of his successes have been with one-versus-one deathmatch games including Quake III Arena, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Painkiller. During his career, he has won a total of twelve world championship titles, including four player of the year awards with the Cyberathlete Professional League[8] and one with the World Cyber Games.[9]

On March 13, 2003, Wendel was profiled on an episode of MTV's True Life reality television series. The episode documented his life and how he prepared for the Cyberathlete Professional League's Winter 2002 Unreal Tournament 2003. Among those featured alongside Wendel in the professional gaming industry were his friends Phil "shogun" Kennedy, and Brian "astro" Lewis, who were also very well known in the professional gaming circuit.[10]

Wendel was the spokesman of the now defunct Championship Gaming Series and had put aside actively competing in 2007.[11] Wendel retired from competition in 2008.[12]

Wendel held the record for most prize money won in all of esports until he was overtaken by Korean StarCraft player Lee Jaedong near the end of 2013.[13][14]

World championships


Wendel started a business, Fatal1ty, Inc., that sells his brand of gaming mouse pads, "FATpads". He later expanded this into other gaming products through a business partnership with OCZ Technology, Creative Labs, ASRock, Universal Abit, GamerFood and Southern Enterprises, Inc. to create motherboards, energy snacks, sound cards, gaming desks, computer mice, headphones, and power supplies under the Fatal1ty name.[16]

In honor of his contributions to video gaming, Wendel was awarded the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award by eSports. He was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in August 2010 and holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.[17]

In July 2012, Topps released their 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball set, which includes autographs and worn shirt memorabilia cards of Wendel.[18]

Personal life

Wendel was born on February 26, 1981, to James and Judy Wendel and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.[19][20] Fatal1ty played on his high school tennis team. His parents divorced when he was 13.[21]

He moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2006 and lived on the Las Vegas Strip as of 2014.[22]


  1. ^ a b "20 Richest E-sports Players". Peta Movies - All Facts And News You Need To Know. 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  2. ^ "Gamer 'Fatal1ty' Makes a Living by Winning". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  3. ^ Forbes 0:25
  4. ^ CBS 60 Minutes
  5. ^ "Where Are They Now: Fatal1ty, e-sports' first star". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2016-09-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Fatal1ty On Pro Video Gaming,, December 14, 2006
  8. ^ The CPL Announces Past 1v1 Champions Archived 2006-11-30 at the Wayback Machine, Cyberathlete Professional League, September 15, 2006
  9. ^ World Cyber Games Challenge Pro Player Index Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine, The Challenge Network, October 6–12, 2000
  10. ^ "I'm a Gamer", True Life, MTV productions, original broadcast date 3/13/2003.
  11. ^ Championship Gaming Series: Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel, Gaming Target, June 18, 2007
  12. ^ Prewitt, Alex (June 30, 2016). "Fatal1ty, e-sports' original star, goes corporate as sport enters new era". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  13. ^ "Jaedong: "It's an honor to be the highest-earnings esports player ever"". onGamers. November 18, 2013. Archived from the original on November 20, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  14. ^ "Jaedong becomes the highest earning player in eSports, overtakes Fatal1ty". November 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "WCG 2020 CONNECTED - World Cyber Games".
  16. ^ "Gaming Gear For Professional Gamers". 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  17. ^ "Gaming Gear For Professional Gamers". 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  18. ^ Topps 2012 Allen & Ginter Baseball Checklist[permanent dead link], Topps, July 2012
  19. ^ Mihelich, Peggy (April 24, 2007). "Globe-trotting gamer blasts competition". CNN. Archived from the original on May 17, 2007.
  20. ^ Kendall, Justin (January 12, 2006). "Fear This Geek". Kansas City Pitch. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  21. ^ Fatal1ty. CBS. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  22. ^ Lingle, Samuel (October 12, 2014). "The once and future king of esports". The Kernel. The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 30, 2015.

External links