The only child of Taiwanese immigrants, Kevin Chou grew up bored and lonely in Moorpark, a sleepy middle-class suburb of Los Angeles.
As he recalls it, he spent much of the ’80s in his parents’ dining room playing 8-bit floppy disk games on his father’s IBM XT.
“I had no friends. I had video games,” Chou says today with a wry laugh.
“It’s very surreal,” says Chou, “to go from being a closet gamer to watching a whole generation cheer on, and aspire to be, gamer-athletes—we’ve all won. And it hasn’t been that long.”