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Lovejoy Plays His Way Out of (and Into) It


As a child, Michael Lovejoy (aka Lovejoy) of the New York Bandits would escape being punished by beating his father in Mortal Kombat 2. “I always played my way out of it,” he says.

His love of gaming continued over the years, but he never played competitively.

Although Lovejoy has lived in Stafford, Virginia, for nine years, he only came to know Ultimate Endgamers League (UEL) when some of the players visited the IHOP where he works wearing their jerseys.

After learning more about it from the players, Lovejoy decided to visit the facility himself. “I went down there on a Monday, not realizing they were closed. Still, they brought me back where I met Riley who explained everything to me,” he explains.

He returned on a Saturday before work and signed up for the season six draft.

“I was actually drafted twice. I ended up with the New Jersey Gorillaz but they traded me for the Bandits right before the first game,” Lovejoy says, indicating that he’s continuing with the Bandits in the coming season.


Lovejoy attributes his success to his willingness to learn. “You need to be willing to put the time into it if you want to be good. You have to play it,” he says.

And play he does, practicing approximately 30 hours per week around his IHOP shifts.


Lovejoy’s goal for this season is to make playoffs. For the long-term however, he has his eyes set on winning the championship no matter what team he’s on.

At age 33, he acknowledges that he’s on “the older side of the league” in what will “forever be a young person’s sport.”

“I realize I’m an adult,” Lovejoy says, “The league will eventually blow up to where we’re getting paid. If I’m still in at that point, great!”


“I take the league one game at a time. Whatever game is up, I focus on that one,” Lovejoy explains.

For his part though, it helps that he has a 35% success rate of guessing which games will be on the wheel next.

“I’m playing a lot of games that I used to make fun of…Now I’m playing games like F1 Moto GP, CarxDrift, Fortnite and Apex Legends,” he says.

He recognizes, however, that it’s hard to be good at all of them. “I stick to a few where I know I can be good and average at the rest. You just have to be better than the average person or better than the person you’re up against for the day,” he concludes.


  • To Titus for allowing a kid like me to play professionally.
  • To PassDaHerb, Chickentech, X-Ray Aspect, RocketZero and Rex for always being willing to teach me how to play games.
  • To TLG for always telling me to look stop saying you’re not good. You’re good. Have confidence and show people who you are.

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