A GAMING wizard who dropped out of A levels to pursue his dream, has just returned from the USA having been placed 9th in the Call of Duty (COD) World Championships in Los Angeles.

Jamie Craven, 19, aka ‘Insight’, from Cross Hills, attended as an amateur with his team of five named ‘Singularity’.

COD is a multi-platform shoot-em-up style game, Pegi rated18, which Jamie has played competitively since he was 12.

He plays competitively on PS4 and attends all Call of Duty World League events. This consists of online events and gatherings know as LAN events, mainly in and around the US.

Jamie’s father, Richard, said only the top 32 teams in the world attended the LA World Championship and Singularity earned the right to be there at a previous CWL event in Miami.

“At this stage Jamie’s team was classed as amateurs, and was expected to fall at the first hurdle, how ever to everyone’s amazement not only did they get out of pool play, they smashed it and became the top group unbeaten as they moved on to the winners bracket.

“Since that moment the COD scene couldn’t say enough about Singularity as they moved on further in the competition. Their winning ways came to an end and they finish 9th overall in a tournament they had no right to be in,” said Mr Craven.

He added: “This was Jamie’s first ever World Championships and his style of play has turned heads and earned respect in the COD scene. We hope after this performance he goes on to be picked to play for a professional team in the forthcoming season.”

Jamie went to South Craven school and achieved excellent GCSE grades and went on to 6th form, but juggling his gaming with school work was proving too much and had to make a decision on turning 18 to pursue gaming as a career or complete his A levels, Jamie chose gaming.

Jamie said: “People thought I was mad to leave school - top of the list was South Craven School - and rightly so. The decision to leave was a difficult one to make but in order to pursue my dream one that had to be made.

“As a team we practice 5-8 hours a day. Weekends are normally online competitions and each month we attend an event usually in the US. We compete over the course of a week, so you can see trying to juggle a full-time education as well was very difficult for me. I like to think my studies are on hold and I can always go back to them later.

“I am perusing my dream and I aim to become the best player in the world and be seated in the hall of fame. Who wouldn’t? I have fantastic support from friends and family, without my dad’s help who suffers from “Competitive Dad Syndrome” my dream would just be that.”