In Memoriam, Kyle
Kyle started out his pugging career in the fall of 2016 when he would begin playing with friends. Almost four years later in 2020, he would start to play in ESEA Open on a team called "Make-It-Happen". Despite being a new lineup, the team made playoffs that year, where they would, unfortunately, fall short in the first round. While the team was battling for a spot in Intermediate, Kyle was fighting a battle of his own against a rare type of cancer called Liposarcoma.
The cancer diagnosis happened in 2019, where at 22 years old and having just graduated from college, he was robbed of having normal post-graduate life. Kyle underwent radiation therapy and open-heart surgery to treat and prevent cancer from spreading. While the initial results were positive, his cancer came back and was more aggressive. It had spread to his spine and to his lungs.
In 2020, Kyle was recovering from several surgeries and treatments that left him immobile as he was stuck in the hospital in the midst of a global pandemic. Below is an excerpt from Kyle's TwitLonger that explains his thoughts during this time.
I remember being in the hospital more worried about when I could go home because I didn’t want to miss the playoffs with my team. Unfortunately, I would be stuck in the hospital for around two months following my emergency surgery. This was also right when the pandemic started, so for most of the time I was there, my family couldn’t even come visit me because of COVID-19 restrictions so I was by myself until I was eventually discharged. During this time in the hospital, it was very difficult for me. I couldn’t walk and was essentially bedridden for two months. I spent a lot of time watching Counter-Strike on my phone. I had to go to in-patient rehab in order to try and regain function in my legs so I could walk again. I was also receiving chemotherapy to fight the cancer so I felt even worse because of this.
With limited options of what to do, Kyle did the only thing that he was physically able to do - play Counter-Strike with his friends and teammates. In season 36, Kyle created "YIKESGAMING" where he would once again make playoffs and improve to a 1-1 record in playoffs. With this, the team was able to qualify for Intermediate where they continued to dominate. In season 37, YIKESGAMING finished with a 10-6 record and made playoffs in just their first season after promotion. Despite losing the first round, Kyle was not deterred. Once again in season 38 Kyle and YIKESGAMING would play Intermediate but failed to reach the playoffs. The team bounced back in season 39 and made it once again, only to fall short and lose in the first round. Kyle was tirelessly playing each season with vigor despite his cancer, trying his best to be the best he could in the game.
Again, in his TwitLonger, Kyle talks about these seasons and how it all meant to him:
This most recent playoff series that my team lost has been difficult for me to handle, to say the least. I feel like a huge failure because I cost my team some crucial rounds during the last map on Nuke and we ended up losing 16-14 in a heartbreaker. Just like in season 37, we lost by the narrowest margin and I feel like it’s all my fault. I haven’t performed well individually the past few seasons. I’m well-aware of this and it isn’t because of lack of trying or bad practice or anything. I play the game generally at least 60 hours every 2 weeks, if not more. I usually try and play as much as I feel I’m physically able to due to feeling bad because of the chemo. I’m not using this as an excuse for why I have been playing badly, but it’s just the truth for why I can’t play as much as I would like to
Kyle, despite putting so much of his time into this game, felt like it was not enough. He constantly pushed not only himself, but his teammates to be better. With season 40 coming around the corner, he pushed himself harder. Kyle was able to lead his team to an 8-6 record to qualify for playoffs with the 32nd seed. YIKESGAMING finished with a 1-1 record and qualified for Main, an incredible achievement for a team a new team that battled against such adversity.
After four games in Main, and three years of battling to make it in CS:GO against such adversity, Kyle passed away on June 12, 2022 from cancer. Kyle showed nothing can stand in the way of one's dreams and showed the entire community what it means to be a good friend, a good teammate, and an immortal competitor. His team will continue to play together in honor of Kyle. Additionally, this Sunday ,YIKESGAMING will be livestreaming to raise money for Liposarcoma research.
Dust2.us wishes the best for Kyle's friends, loved ones, teammates, and all that knew him. He represented the best of our community and will always be in our hearts. Dust2.us encourages everyone to donate in Kyle's name this Sunday.