He has an older brother and a cat named Neo.
He adopted Black^ as his gamertag when he started playing the original DotA game when he was 12 years old.
BlackDotATV was introduced to video games by his father when he was six years old. He grew up playing a variety of sports, including badminton, karate, boxing and football. Although his brother used to play video games with him when he was younger.
When he was in his early teens, he started watching StarCraft tournaments and realized that there were possibilities to become a professional player. Later, when he became more involved with DotA, he realized that this was something that he also wanted to pursue when he grew up.
When BlackDotATV was 17, he was diagnosed with a Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and his doctors told him that he only had about another year left to live if he didn’t have a bone marrow transplant. This tragic news was compounded by the fact that his father was dying from various cancers as well. While his father had been given another couple of months to live. Before his father passed away, BlackDotATV promised him that he would do his best to become a successful professional eSports player.
Thankfully, the hospital found a donor for him and he went into remission after the surgery. Een when he went in for surgery, he kept his diagnosis a secret from both his family and friends. They only found out about it when they watched his interview with Valve five years later.
BlackDotATV attributes the period of his illness as the life-changing factor in his life. This was because it had motivated him to push his boundaries and to attempt things that he had never tried before, such as running marathons and pushing his physical limitations at the gym. He held onto that feeling when he left school. He decided not to worry and to take every opportunity that came to him so that he could continue living his life to the fullest.
Prior to focusing on his pro-career fulltime, he completed his degree in Electrical Engineering and also worked as an electrician for a couple of years while he was in university.
Over the years, he has also played Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends for fun. He has stated that DotA will always be his passion though, and he plans on entering a managerial or similar behind-the-scenes role in corporate DotA.
He started competing in DotA LANs when he was in high school and joined his first pro-DotA team, EnRo Griffins, in 2009. He continued to participate in tournaments while he was in college. In 2013, he moved to China because it was the strongest DotA region at the time, and he felt that that was the best environment in which he could grow. He found a great deal of success there. He has also been occasionally acting as a caster and an analyst for tournaments since 2016.
- Monday – Friday: 03:00/05:00 – 10:00 UTC
- Weekend: No stream
BlackDotATV is the only pro-player who has played professionally in every region.
Definitely never, never give up on life. If something tough happens in your life, you always need to get back up and start fighting again.
The single most important thing (imo) that I did not follow [when I first entered the pro-scene] is the following: Always stay humble and remind yourself of the hardships you went through. That prevents you from being lazy, comfortable and arrogant. The biggest attitude problems when trying to improve yourself. Sadly, it took me a broken hand to realize, but better late than never.