Hockey players are notoriously tough. Whether it's getting stitched (opens in new tab) up between periods so they can get back on the ice or pulling their own teeth out with their bare hands after eating a high stick, they have a well-deserved reputation for playing through just about anything. Based on a recent performance by Valorant collegiate player Nishil Shah, we might soon have to start according the same respect to esports players.
Shah plays varsity esports for Old Dominion University (opens in new tab) in Norfolk, Virginia. But on the cusp of his first College Valorant (opens in new tab) match (CVal), a medical emergency sent him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis. The opposing team refused to reschedule the match, according to a tweet (opens in new tab) from esports reporter Jake Lucky, and so the ODU team agreed to go ahead, with Shah playing from his hospital bed—and they won the best-of-three contest in dominant fashion, 2-0.
When u got to play ur first cval match from the hospital but we take the W. @ODU_Esports @JakeSucky pic.twitter.com/Hx0i7224oDOctober 22, 2022
Shah's accomplishment quickly came to the attention of several esports pros, who congratulated him for his effort and the outcome. "What a gamer, glad he's all good now," Skyler "Relyks" Weaver tweeted (opens in new tab).
"But imagine refusing to reschedule over a medical emergency and then still losing 13-1 and 13-3."
Riot Games also took notice, and awarded Shah a gun buddy (a cosmetic accessory) and some Valorant points for his effort.
Playing from the confines of a hospital bed wasn't the only challenge facing Shah in his match. He said on Twitter that he was playing "on 60 fps with so much packet loss (opens in new tab)," and that his mouse pad—which you can see in the picture—is his sister's laptop cover (opens in new tab). He also had to take a break mid-match, so the medical staff could "put some shots in me real quick." That's hardcore.
Probably the sickest player comms of all timeMid series from his hospital bed, Collegiate Valorant player @nishil08 needed a 5 minute break after a 13-1 stomp to "get some shots" in him and an IV change 😂 pic.twitter.com/l4idLt0sISOctober 23, 2022
As for the team they beat—West Virginia Wesleyan College—one of Shah's teammates said they're "getting a lot of hate for not rescheduling," but didn't appear to harbor any hard feelings—which I suppose is easier to do after you've come out on top.
"I feel bad for all the backlash they are getting on Twitter," Mitch tweeted (opens in new tab). "We beat them convincingly and that should be enough imo."
For its part, WVWC tweeted a GG after the match, which—not unsurprisingly—was not as well received.
NISHIL OWNS YOU pic.twitter.com/psMX81qNWMOctober 22, 2022
Nishil, by the way, has apparently recovered: Another teammate, Nick, said on Twitter (opens in new tab) that "he is fine now."