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.

Just Posted

West Kelowna man who shot roommate to be sentenced next year

A West Kelowna man who shot one of his tenants and, months… Continue reading

FortisBC warns for power outages during weekend

Wind and snow storms are expected Friday evening to Saturday morning.

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission to serve up Christmas dinner Saturday

For the 40th year, the Mission will serve a free turkey and ham dinner for those in need

Final phase of cardiac centre project at Kelowna General Hospital complete

New recovery rooms for centre patients at KGH completes the $381 million project

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read