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Johnathan Wendel

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Johnathan Wendel
Fatal1ty 2014.jpg
Johnathan Wendel at E3 2014
Status Retired
Date of birth (1981-02-26) February 26, 1981 (age 34)
Hometown Independence, Missouri
Nationality United States
League Cyberathlete Professional League
World Series of Video Games(defunct)
World Cyber Games
Championship Gaming Series (defunct)
Games Quake
Quake 2
Quake 3
Aliens versus Predator 2
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Call of Duty 2
Counter-Strike: Source
Unreal Tournament 2003
Doom 3
Quake 4
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Nickname(s) Fatal1ty
Official website

Johnathan Wendel (born February 26, 1981), also known by the gamertag Fatal1ty (pronounced Fatality /feɪlɪti), is a former professional electronic sports player and entrepreneur. Johnathan is considered the world's first prominent and accomplished professional gamer.[1] He was once considered one of the best professional gamers in the world.[2]


Wendel has won approximately US$450,000 in cash and prizes from professional competitions, mainly in the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL).[3] 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[4] 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[5] and one with the World Cyber Games.[6]

On March 13, 2003, Wendel was profiled on an episode of MTV's True Life reality television series. It was filmed in Kansas City, Kansas; San Antonio, Texas; and Dallas, Texas. 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.[7]

Wendel started a business, Fatal1ty, Inc., selling 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, GamerFood and Southern Enterprises, Inc. to create motherboards, energy snacks, sound cards, gaming desks, computer mice, headphones, and power supplies bearing his moniker.[8]

Wendel was the spokesman of the now defunct Championship Gaming Series and has put aside actively competing.[9]

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.[10]

In July 2012, Topps released their 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball set, which includes autographs and worn shirt memorabilia cards of Wendel.[11]

Wendel held the record for most prize money won in all of electronic sports until he was overthrown by StarCraft II player Jaedong near the end of 2013.[12][13]

Notable accomplishments

Wendel at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo
Wendel at Computex 2007

All winnings listed are in USD.

Aliens versus Predator 2

  • 1st CPL World Championship ($40,000, Ford Focus)

Doom 3


  • 4th Electronic Sports World Cup 2004 ($10,000)
  • 2nd CPL Summer Championships 2004 ($5,750)
  • 4th CPL Turkey March 26, 2005 ($5,000)
  • 6th CPL Spain May 1, 2005 ($2,500)
  • 2nd CPL Brazil May 28, 2005 ($10,000)
  • 2nd CPL Sweden June 18, 2005 ($10,000)
  • 1st CPL Summer Championships 2005 ($15,000)[14]
  • 2nd CPL UK September 4, 2005 ($10,000)
  • 1st CPL Singapore October 16, 2005 ($15,000)
  • 2nd CPL Italy October 22, 2005 ($10,000)
  • 5th CPL Chile October 30, 2005 ($3,500)
  • 1st CPL NYC World Tour Finals 2005 ($150,000)


  • 6th CPL 4-Year Anniversary Event 2001 ($1,000)

Quake III Arena

  • 3rd Frag 3 1999 ($4,000)
  • 1st XSR Invitational 2000 ($15,000)
  • 1st RazerCPL Tournament April 2000 ($40,000)
  • 1st BattleTop Universal Challenge July 22, 2000 ($15,000)
  • 1st World Cyber Games Challenge October 2000 ($25,000)
  • 1st CPL Australia ($10,500)
  • 3rd CPL Holland
  • 2nd QuakeCon 2001 ($10,000)
  • 2nd CPL Brazil

Quake 4

  • 4th WSVG Kentucky June 18, 2006
  • 4th WSVG Intel Summer Challenge July 9, 2006 ($6,500)
  • 9–12th QuakeCon August 5, 2006
  • 5th WSVG London October 8, 2006
  • 3rd Digital Life October 15, 2006 ($2,500)
  • 5th World Cyber Games October 19, 2006
  • 2nd WSVG Finals New York, December 10, 2006 ($10,000)
  • 1st Championship Gaming Invitational Los Angeles, December 17, 2006

Unreal Tournament 2003

World championships

  • CPL: 4 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2005)
  • WCG: 1 (2000)


  1. ^ CBS 60 Minutes
  2. ^ Forbes 0:25
  3. ^ "Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel - Results By Year". e-Sports Earnings. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Fatal1ty On Pro Video Gaming,, December 14, 2006
  5. ^ The CPL Announces Past 1v1 Champions, Cyberathlete Professional League, September 15, 2006
  6. ^ World Cyber Games Challenge Pro Player Index, The Challenge Network, October 6–12, 2000
  7. ^ "I'm a Gamer", True Life, MTV productions, original broadcast date 3/13/2003.
  8. ^ "Gaming Gear For Professional Gamers". 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  9. ^ Championship Gaming Series: Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel, Gaming Target, June 18, 2007
  10. ^ "Gaming Gear For Professional Gamers". 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  11. ^ Topps 2012 Allen & Ginter Baseball Checklist, Topps, July 2012
  12. ^ "Jaedong: "It's an honor to be the highest-earnings esports player ever"". onGamers. November 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Jaedong becomes the highest earning player in eSports, overtakes Fatal1ty". November 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ Fatal1ty Wins CPL Summer 2005

External links