Kelowna Fortnite gamer donates $164,000 in winnings to SPCA

Kelowna online gamer Kristin Valnicek placed third at the Fortnite Pro Am Charity Tournament in L.A.

It’s the largest single donation that branch manager Sean Hogan has received at the Kelowna BC SPCA in the two years he has worked at the shelter.

“When you hear something like that at first, it’s like am I being spammed here, what is the legitimacy of the this gift?,” he asked.

But it’s true. Kelowna online gamer Kristin Valnicek has donated $164,000 donation to the animal-welfare organization, after placing third at the Fortnite Pro Am Charity Tournament in L.A.

Fortnite is an online battle royal where 100 players leap down onto a small island and fight each other until only is left.

Valnicek, who goes by KittyPlays online, is an animal lover who grew up in Kelowna and has always had a soft spot for the BC SPCA.

“I’ve been playing video games for a very long time, ever since I was three or four-years-old with my dad, watching over his shoulder watching Quake and Doom,” she told Black Press Media Tuesday.

“How I stumbled onto Fortnite, was I was a really big fan of the battle royal genre and when they came out with the game at first I was a bit tentative because it looks a bit young. But, once I started playing it was quickly something I loved to do.”

RELATED: No more Fortnite: Vancouver Canucks ban video games on the road

View this post on Instagram

😈 can’t wait to live stream today 😈

A post shared by KittyPlays (@kittyplays) on

Valnicek plays games online for a living and wins money through subscribers and sponsorships— which is how she got invited to this celebrity tournament.

“I got invited because I am a big presence on Twitch. I have been live streaming for five years on Dec. 18,” said Valnicek. “I have a big enough community and enough skill that they wanted me to play in the Pro Am.”

She was paired up with the celebrity Chandler Riggs who plays Carl on The Walking Dead. The pair won $250,000 to split.

With a couple cats and a dog of her own, picking the Kelowna BC SPCA was an easy task.

“The Kelowna branch was a natural choice for me, because I grew up in Kelowna and no matter where I live in the word I am always going to have ties here. I have also seen what they do for the community.”

Hogan says a gift like this will help so many animals.

“As an example it covers for us the medical and the spay neuter budget that we have for the Kelowna branch for 2018,” he said. “It just means so much more to us to help so many animals.”

Next up for KittyPlays is a move to L.A. where she will work with E Sports on a female Fornite team.

“There was some stigma associated that women felt shameful about being open about being gamers, and I am not sure where that stems from,” explained Valnicek.

“Just having more role models of loving kind women in the space is definitely allowing women who are already gamers to be more open about the fact that they game. Also having a lot new people that might not have tried it to try it and get into it.”

RELATED: Find me my furever home: Koda and Bailey

While working with E Games she is expected to be involved with new gaming initiatives so she can help promote charities like the BC SPCA.

And, to show their gratitude for the donation the Kelowna BC SPCA named two kittens currently in foster, KittyPlays and Fortnite. The kittens came into the shelter as an owner surrender and will be available for adoption after the holidays are over.

For more on the kittens or any other pets available for adoption at the Kelowna BC SPCA contact the shelter at, 250-861-7722.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four vehicle crash stalls traffic in Glenmore

The four-vehicle fender bender took place about 4:15 p.m.

COVID-19: Central Okanagan fire departments only responding to serious medical calls

The new directive from Dr. Bonnie Henry does not change the public safety response of firefighters

West Kelowna business produces plexiglass barriers with a cause

Mouldings and More is donating barrier proceeds to local food banks

Rockets prospects named to BC Hockey’s All-Star teams

Dylan Wightman and Scott Cousins were named to the U16AAA All-Star team

West Kelowna council meetings move online

The councillors will attend virtually to limit in-person contact

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents on Highway 1

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

53 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., four new deaths

B.C. has 498 active confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

Organizers hoping to hold Summerland Fall Fair

COVID-19 pandemic may result in changes to agricultural celebration

Bighorn sheep wander through the Okanagan

Local wildlife sighting refreshing amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read