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

Walnut Grove’s Shawn Meehan (front) has started another band, Trigger Mafia. This local country rocker has put country on the shelf, and is going hard-core rock with this group, releasing their first single last Friday to radio. It started as a way to pass the time during the COVID lockdown, and evolved. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley musician drives rock revival with COVID twist

Trigger Mafia goes straight from the garage to radio with raw lyrics

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Teachers, staff should be included in contact tracing: Surrey Teachers’ Association president

STA says there is also ‘no harm in going even further’ with a mask mandate

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

The peninsula’s Community Christmas Day Dinner at White Rock Baptist Church – seen here in 2019 – has been cancelled for 2020, because of pandemic-inspired limitations on gatherings. (File photo)
Annual Community Christmas dinner ‘just not possible’ this year

Organizers vow that 40 years-plus Semiahmoo Peninsula tradition will return, post-COVID

Strawberry Hill Hall is being renovated and moved to another location on its existing corner lot in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall being moved a few metres in $1.2M reno project

Childcare spaces coming to corner lot where hall has stood for 111 years

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Most Read