Ryoo "SeleCT" Kyung Hyun, a former Terran StarCraft 2 professional player, was offered an internship by the billionaire CEO of Shopify after he put out a call for job leads on Twitter. Shopify is a Canadian-based multinational e-commerce company that has been valued at over a billion dollars, and has a history of hiring candidates based on skills that might be considered extraneous by other potential employers.
SeleCT is one of the most popular StarCraft 2 players from the game's earliest days, when he established himself as an above-average Terran player with charisma and personality that far outstripped most of his contemporaries. SeleCT popularized the "sup son" saying in StarCraft 2 alongside the shrug emoji that has become ubiquitous in multiplayer gaming culture since then, and was a proud member of Team Dignitas for the entirety of his career, showing a loyalty to his team that was uncommon even during the early era of the fledgling esport. Although SeleCT never found success on an international level, he was a consistent threat in the MLG circuit from 2010-2011, and won the North American Battle.net Invitational in 2011.
SeleCT retired around 2014, and has since been busy with his education, as evidenced by his Twitter, where he recently put out a call for any potential leads on a software engineer internship for the summer of 2020. Unexpectedly, however, Tobi Lutke, the CEO of Shopify, replied directly on Twitter and told him he would be happy to hire the former StarCraft 2 pro. Furthermore, Lutke stated that SeleCT's accomplishments in-game were more than enough of a resume, stating that the "place is yours if you want it." Lutke then followed up the tweet with a statement on a StarCraft 2 subreddit post about the exchange, explaining the thought process behind offering SeleCT the internship:
"It's insanely hard to become a pro in Starcraft, significantly harder than it is to get a degree. So I feel like this should be highly valuable on a CV. My offer to bring in ex pro players is more general than my offer to select[sic] for an internship. Shopify has a history of bringing in people in[sic] by alternative proofs[sic] of doing something difficult."
Hey select. Happy to hire you into the Shopify intern program. Your Starcraft accomplishments are enough of a CV. Place is yours if you want it.— Tobi Lütke (@tobi) October 14, 2019
It's an incredible gesture from the CEO, and also a well-reasoned statement - professional esports athletes dedicate their entire lives to being good at the game they pursue, often at the sacrifice of nearly everything else. The amount of hard work, dedication, and grueling near-misses are, quite frankly, brutal, and should be recognized as desirable traits for any potential employee. As esports professionals begin to come to grips with the toll the sport takes on their bodies, perhaps we'll see even more pros make the leap to companies like Shopify once their time in the spotlight is up.
For now, though, there's at least an offer from Shopify on the table for anyone looking to translate their esports careers into an internship. It's another example of just how widely accepted esports are becoming in culture at large, and is an encouraging sign for the future of StarCraft 2 and other players after their careers are over.