B.C. Fortnite gamer donates $164,000 in winnings to SPCA

B.C. 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

Vaccinations are set to resume in the small community of Tatchet, according to Lake Babine Nation’s Deputy Chief. (Black Press Media file photo)
Lake Babine Nation vaccine rollout resumes after a short pause

A COVID positive test within the care team had put the vaccinations on hold

Cheslatta Chief Corrina Leween received one of the COVID-19 vaccines on the Southside, on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
COVID-19 vaccination begins in Burns Lake

Senior population, health care workers and First Nations among the first to get the vaccine

Sasquatch sighting. (Omineca Ski Club photo/Lakes District News)
Sasquatch on the loose at Omineca Ski Club

Head out to the trails to see if you can spot it; a tongue-in-cheek response from the club President

Two books in particular became quite popular at the start of the pandemic — Soap and Water Common Sense, The definitive guide to viruses’ bacteria, parasites, and disease and The Great Influenza, The story of the deadliest pandemic in history. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake Public Library lent 20,916 books in 2020

Gained 67 new patrons throughout the year

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read