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Juan 'Dimitry' Hernández, el gamer dominicano que triunfa en los videojuegos

Juan Dimitri Hernandez, the Dominican player who triumphed in video games

Dominican Juan “Dimeri” Hernandez, the Latin American League of Legends (LLA) New Year’s Award winner, has confirmed that “players” in his country lack the confidence to succeed in the video game.

“Dominicans lack confidence in themselves to succeed as professionals in League of Legends. Most of them are, justifiably, pessimistic because we live in a country where there is a lot of poverty and less opportunity. They do not want to risk their future and prefer to study.”

The 19-year-old Forest considered that another factor slowing down the Dominicans’ access to the LLA, the ultimate in League of Legends region competition, was parents’ lack of understanding.

“Many very good players who intend to be professionals, have stopped playing League of Legends because their parents did not approve, and they did not see it as real business,” he said.

Dimitri revealed that in his case, he spoke with his parents and explained that a good LLA player can earn between $40,000 and $50,000 per tournament and that if he signs with a US team the figure will rise to $400,000.

“From the moment I told them that, they stopped seeing it as a game and saw it as something akin to a sport like basketball, baseball, or football,” he recalls.

The XTEN Esports player in Clausura’s last edition of the LLA in 2021 described the Dominican League of Legends player as “disrespectful and with a lot of ego”.

Hernandez admitted that Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends, had forgotten about the Dominican Republic by leaving it without a second division like Mexico or Argentina.

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“The Dominican Republic would have been one of the major countries in exporting talent to LLA had they had a league from the start. Players who retired because they couldn’t find a way to survive with the game,” he said.

Since this year, Riot Games has been promoting the Tempest League, a second category that includes Central American and Caribbean nations.

“With the storm we will see more players. The league is still low-key compared to the rest because it is new and the others are three years old, but there is a lot of talent behind them,” he said.

Dimitri said that among his plans in 2022 were to leave XTEN, as he did not feel comfortable, sign with a high-quality team at LLA or immigrate to the United States with a second-tier team.

He concluded, “If I stay at LLA, my goal is to be a two-time champion and be the best Latin player. I want to go to the World Cup and represent the region.”