For Brendon Guvench playing Valorant isn’t just an escape, it’s a safe haven. The 18-year-old was told a few weeks ago that he wouldn’t be able to work any shifts for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus outbreak. So, when he logged into the game to find he was playing with the likes of Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, he didn’t think much of it – he was just trying to take his mind off the current situation.
But when he was shot in the back by an audible flank and Ninja asked how he couldn’t hear him, the freshman had to reveal that his headset was broken and he couldn’t afford to replace it. It was there and then that one of the biggest streamers in the world offered to send him some money – an act of kindness the American hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since.
“Getting given something from one of your favorite streamers is something I didn’t really imagine would ever happen to me,” Guvench tells The Loadout over email. “I work at a local Mexican restaurant and most of their profit is made through catering events. Most of the local events that they would normally cater have been canceled due to the virus, so the dates that I had been told I would be working were canceled, and I’m not sure when the dining area of the restaurant is going to open back up again.
“When he said he’d send me money, I was surprised and grateful, but at the same time curious, because he never specified how much.”
During the stream, Ninja tried to send the cash, which turned out to $1,000, multiple times through PayPal and CashApp, but technical difficulties meant that Guvench never got the money. But Ninja didn’t stop there.
The Fortnite streamer reached out to Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag, whose team 100 Thieves has a partnership with the money transfer service to look into the technical problems both he and Guvench were having. Two days later, Guvench finally got the money and bought himself a pair of Astro A40s – the headset that Ninja recommended.
“The lengths that he went through off stream to actually make sure the payment went through made me realise how genuine he was about the situation,” he adds. “It was something he did because he actually cared.”
While Guvench is planning to save most of the money Ninja sent him to help support his family and plan for his future, the teen also used a bit of it to give something back – he subbed to Ninja’s Mixer and gifted his chat a few subs too.
They say the smallest acts of kindness is worth more than the grandest gesture and in Guvench’s case it’s true. Ninja’s won over a lifelong fan for giving something back to his community and it’s pretty damn awesome.