30th November, 2017
Martin Shkreli. Either you’ve heard the name before and know exactly who he is, or you don’t. Here’s a hint: he's not a pro-League of Legends eSports player or commentator. However, although he is technically classed as a streamer, he’s “famous” for a much different reason.
Shkreli hit the headlines back in 2015 when he raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 5,000% upon acquiring the rights to the medication. This meant a change in price from $13.50 to $750 per dose almost overnight. This move earned him the title of “the most hated man in America” as he put thousands of lives at risk in order to increase his profits.
As you can probably guess, this move earned him a lot of haters and put his name in the media a lot. However, in response to the media attention, instead of hiding away in his house from the public eye, Martin did the opposite. He set up his own YouTube and Twitch channel to live stream himself doing a variety of things.
If you check his YouTube channel you’ll notice a whole range of videos from investing and finance tutorials, all the way to chemistry lessons. And if you look closely you’ll notice something else…
That’s right, Martin Shkreli plays League of Legends! As you can see in the video below he’s playing Miss Fortune in the bot lane while answering questions from his viewers. If you look closely you’ll also notice his clan tag is “PHRMA”.
Since streaming League of Legends isn’t his job and has nothing to do with his income or job, why does he play it at all?
As you can probably imagine there are many reasons why someone would decide to play League of Legends. Maybe they like pwning noobs or the competitiveness of the game. Or maybe they just enjoy playing with their friends. We’re not saying we know the exact reasons my Martin plays LoL but here are some key points.
One of the reasons Martin plays League of Legends is that he loves to destroy inferior players. Nothing feels better than repeatedly beating players over and over again. After all, who doesn't like the feeling of winning?
As big headed and douchey as it sounds, many other players play LoL for exactly the same reason. If you’re good at something and you enjoy it, then you keep playing it.
Martin currently has 79k followers on YouTube and regularly streams to his audience. With an average stream attracting over 5,000 viewers, Martin needs to do something to engage with his audience!
Since most of his subscribers are young males from 18 - 25, League of Legends is the perfect game to play. The chances are that over 60% of the viewers watching already have a LoL account and currently play it. By playing a game that people enjoy and are interested in, this helps Martin interact and increase his viewers.
League of Legends can be very challenging especially when you start to move up in the ranks. Co-operation, responsiveness and strategic thinking all start to come into play and can have a significant effect on the outcome of the game.
Since Martin Shkreli is interested in finance, chemistry and computers, it’s pretty clear that he enjoys a challenge. The reason he plays LoL is probably to challenge himself even more. If you want to be the best and prove it, then you need to get to master tier or beyond.
Another reason Martin plays League of Legends is that it stimulates and improves his mind. Wasting away and watching TV is not the way to go. Instead, Martin prefers to challenge himself and adapt to new situations constantly. By playing games such as League of Legends, Martin opens himself up to a whole new range of situations and challenges he needs to overcome. Not only does this improve his strategic thinking, but it also keeps him always on his toes.
From looking at his LoLKing stats for his turingboss account, Martin managed to reach Gold division by the end of Season 6. Although it’s not that impressive, it’s still better than the majority of players out there.
Back in February 2016 Martin hit the headlines again when he was ordered to pay $25,000 in League of Legends coaching fees to an ex-coach. Team Imagine’s former coach “CurryshotGG” alleged that he was only paid $5,000 for his coaching in 2015. Was Martin getting some League of Legends coaching under his belt? Was he trying to reach that prestigious challenge tier? Who knows, but with a ranking of Gold obviously it didn’t go to plan.
As of December 2017, Martin is currently in jail and is awaiting sentencing on 3 accounts of securities fraud. Martin was sent to jail to after posting a message on Facebook offering $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. A judge ruled he was a danger to the public and sent him to jail to await his sentencing.
As you can probably guess, Martin doesn’t play LoL anymore but if he could then he probably would! With his jail time looking up to 20 years, by the time he gets out we could be in Season 28.
League of Legends is a massive game with millions of monthly active players, just imagine how many celebrities are secretly playing it out there. The next time you’re flaming your ADC you could actually be flaming the Pharma Bro himself!