Once the workday was over at the ISP, the office gang would play some games. For over a year we hosted one of the top Quake3 servers in the world, DeadOfQuake3. One day a check came in the mail to me for around $20 for being one of the top Quake players through a service I had signed up to. I believe it was Champion Player League although after a few decades the memory, and even google, has trouble remembering.
Using the definition of a pro as being someone who is paid for something, then I claim I was an early pro gamer. I’m ignoring the fact that my ping time to the server was amazing and that my career total wins were only $20. I’m going for a good story and cred when my nephew tries to brag that he’s better at a game than me. “Well back in my day I was a pro gamer, I’m taking it easy on you”