The March release of 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K11 came with the fanfare of the publisher’s second annual competition to throw an in-game perfect game for a $1 million cash prize. This time around, 2K tweaked the parameters of the contest in an effort to give more gamers a chance, pushing back the start date past baseball’s Opening Day and lowering the minimum age to 13. With an extra three weeks’ worth of practice, it certainly seemed possible that a less experienced player would have a shot.
“I didn’t know much about baseball going in,” said Brian Kingrey, the winner of this year’s contest, at a press event in a Citi Field suite during a Phillies-Mets game last week. “I knew about as much as, hey, you’ve got to hit the ball and then get home runs, you know?”
But the 25-year-old from Hammond, LA, a first-year high-school music teacher -- guitar, piano, band, and choir -- is much savvier than he might sound. Kingrey wasn’t a sports fan before this contest, but he drew on his love for e-sports to bone up on baseball and give himself the best chance at the million-dollar bounty.