Tips&Tricks81-year-old Chilean grandma rules global e-sports. The unlikely champion of 'Free Fire'

81‑year-old Chilean grandma rules global e‑sports. The unlikely champion of 'Free Fire'

The elderly lady in front of the computer
The elderly lady in front of the computer
Images source: © Getty Images, TikTok | Trevor Williams, viztorhugo

1:44 PM EST, January 9, 2024

The typical image of a gamer is often a young teenage boy spending most of his day at his computer. But that doesn't mean it's a strictly male territory. In fact, an increasing number of women are venturing into the world of e-sports—a competition where the central focus is games. While it's challenging to label it as a sport, professional gamers have earned worldwide recognition.

Maria Elena Arevalo, an 81-year-old woman from Chile, is one such player. Amid her daily obligations of managing her home and caring for her grandchildren, she finds time to play "Free Fire", consistently ranking among the game's top players.

"Games helped me forget about my late husband"

Maria Elena Arevalo is a friendly retiree who spends most of her free time on household chores and grandchildren. Just a few years ago, she didn't even know how to work a computer. Everything changed when her grandchild introduced her to "Free Fire" and taught her computer basics. Arevalo admitted that she liked it instantly, as the gaming world gave her a temporary escape from losing her husband.

When Arevalo sits to play, she transforms into Mami Nena, a swift, merciless huntress in the game world. She is now among the top players, specifically one of the 300 players who have reached the highest possible level in the game.

A YouTube and TikTok Star

The game has made a notable impact on the 81-year-old's life. Last year, she became the ambassador of her favorite game, even traveling to Mexico to share her knowledge—her first trip abroad. Game fans asked for Arevalo's autograph, and her excitement was palpable. "This memory will be the most precious to me when I die," she revealed. Embracing the digital age, the retiree set up a YouTube channel with over 650,000 fans and a TikTok account boasting 4 million followers. "I love doing this. As long as I have the strength, I will play," Arevalo promised.

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