Valve was slow to react to the building crisis. Its first public comment about the ways its skins were being used didn’t come until five months later, in July 2016 — three years after skins were added to the game. And even then, it was left to a company developer to post a four-paragraph statement promising that Valve would get tough.
By then, Elijah was waking up in the morning to check the bets he’d made the night before on CS:GO tournaments in Europe. Then he’d go to school to bet more on the computers in his high school library. He even found a site that accepted skins for bets on pro sports teams and won enough on the New Jersey Devils to cash out and use the money to buy St. Louis Blues tickets. Then he put another few hundred bucks in skins on the Blues to win the NHL conference finals and watched as they lost to San Jose.
“I kept thinking that if I just bet smart, take my time and don’t get greedy, I can do this,” he says. “But then I’d always get greedy and bet and lose.”
The mystery of the state of Federer’s game, like the origin of those curious statues on Easter Island sitting off to the east in the Pacific Ocean, will continue here for at least a few more days. Like those marvelous stone heads, he is still standing, into the second week here for the 15th time.
There is another information-gathering session scheduled for Sunday here at Melbourne Park. That’s when he meets No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori, 27 and in his prime, in the fourth round.
The winner would likely draw No. 1 Andy Murray in the quarterfinals.
“What’s nice about tonight is that it was unexpected for me and many others as well,” Federer said, “but it also came against a top player. I’ve had this feeling before where you feel you’re not going to lose this one.”