Erryn Rhoden, a 48-year-old Ohio mom who works at her family's roofing company, is unexpectedly dominating the Candy Crush Saga All Stars Tournament. After accidentally entering the competition, she quickly rose to the top of her semifinal bracket, becoming one of the most successful "esports athletes" in the country at the moment. Despite her self-described "past-tense" gamer status, Rhoden's dedication to Candy Crush over the years and her penchant for watching strategy videos has allowed her to excel. Amazingly, she's well on her way to winning the $250,000 tournament prize. (Waxy)
"I have three kids, [and] I'm 48 now. I used to play a lot of video games," Rhoden told me over a Zoom call with her son Xane. "When I quit, I just started playing Candy Crush. Because I have ADD, I kind of need to have ten things going on at once. It's just something to fill my mind and keep me focused. I started playing it like 10 years ago."
…Rhoden played PvP games when she was younger, where she relished in "demolishing" her opponents for the adrenaline rush. However, she didn't like the person she became while playing such competitive games. Candy Crush "satisfied her urge to win without feeling like [she was] doing anything to anybody else and causing rage." In a single-player puzzle game, the only opponent was herself.