Calgarian Josh Vandal said he hears from gaming skeptics all the time.
The fact he plays video games – at a very high level – with the controller upside down seems foreign to a lot of people. And no, he’s not inverting the controls. He’s been playing upside down since he was three-years-old.
He does it on any console, with any controller. Vandal owns several gaming systems with a variety of different controller configurations.
“I actually can’t play the other way. Me trying to play your way is like you guys trying to play upside down,” Vandal said.
“It literally feels backwards for me to play with it.”
WATCH: Why Josh Vandal started playing upside down
Vandal brings skill to Calgary gaming scene
The 27-year-old Winnipeg transplant came to Calgary for a fresh start nearly two years ago. In Manitoba, he was working construction, lifting shingles, moving from site to site. He’d been battling drugs and alcohol, but has been clean now for three years.
“I thought moving away would just give me the separation from my family and all the distractions and now, maybe, hopefully make me try and figure out what I want to do,” Vandal said.
“It’s great once you get going because you get to focus on something cool like this and get an idea.”
Vandal had done some research into emerging areas and was surprised to find that esports and gaming
Now, he’s paired his unique controller use and his near-professional gaming skills with live streaming to start building himself a new income.
Some gamers go big, Vandal says
He’d reached out to Calgary social media maven Crackmacs to help spread the word on his endeavour. While he wants to build a name in Calgary gaming, he also wants to give back.
Vandal said he’s seen hard times. He’s now giving back by volunteering his time to local charities both in his personal time and through his full-time employment with an area car dealership.
He said the internet is a powerful tool and he’s seen people just like him with a unique talent, and a little bit of gumption, make an impact.
“Honestly, the number one reason and probably the only reason why I want to keep doing this, and started, is to really give back,” Vandal said.
“If I can do something that’s super natural, like hold a controller upside down, but it makes people bring money and it makes them interested, and I could use that money to help a charity… why not?”
You can catch Vandal on Instagram at Vandalizzed.