When you think of a rag to riches story in esports, Du Cong “KnuckleDu” Dang is the poster boy for what all hopefuls are trying to become. From playing in local tournaments to hitting the big stages, his story is the same for those who see competitive gaming as their golden ticket.
He mentions growing up poor and playing in tournaments to win money for food. In local tournaments, the most a winner can make is $40; on a good day maybe $100. Over time, he molded himself to become not only this year’s Capcom Pro Tour champion but one of the most feared players in Street Fighter V.
KnuckleDu, 21, used his experiences as motivation to practice more and become better. After losing on his birthday at ELeague, He bounced back to win Combo Breaker 2017 for SFV. With EVO 2017 around the corner, he has to continue to prove to himself and the world that he’s here for a reason besides the money. Watching his story is an inspiration and a reminder that the grind never stops.
I have to compliment and bash his use of R. Mika and Guile. His combos are amazing and precise, but it makes me hate the characters more. Not because he’s good with them, but how I’ve never realized that they can take you from zero to stunned in no time. I love his gameplay, but he probably won’t be on my rival list anytime soon.
In his profile video, he mentions that people call him a bully and arrogant, but not just someone who’s focused. A perfect example is him ignoring his opponent at CB17.
What makes him special in the gaming world is how he stays true to his roots. No matter where we are in life, we all had to eat TV dinners a couple times a day. I believe that’s where I see the comparison between myself and him. I grew up in bad neighborhoods and had to live in conditions where coins were my only form of currency. The only thing that kept me at peace were my consoles.
If there’s anything gamers can learn from the esports star, it’s to remain focused. Remember where you come from. Humility and desire are the ingredients any player needs to be successful. He may be the most targeted fighter in the pro circuit, but that means he is doing something right. Watch his story and see there is a little bit of you in KnuckleDu.