It’s not uncommon for professional athletes to donate winnings or salaries to charities and foundations, and as it turns out, professional video game players are no different.
Du “NuckleDu” Dang has been a staple in competitive Street Fighter for several years, coming to prominence in Ultra Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter x Tekken. His resume is as good as they come, netting a first-place finish at Capcom Cup 2016, and also getting top 8 at the prestigious Evolution Championship Series (known as EVO). He’s played for Tier 1 esports organizations such as Team Liquid, and recently just signed with Ghost Gaming.
But championships and big-time sponsorships aren’t the only defining features of Dang’s presence in the community. Dang has been known to pour his hard-earned money into charity, as well as back into the community that made him a winner in the first place.
At Dreamhack Montreal in September 2017, Dang took first in the Street Fighter V tournament without dropping a set. Upon winning the tournament, which had a $10,000 prize pool, Dang tweeted that he would be donating all of his winnings to relief for Hurricane Irma.
1st place at DreamHack Montreal! Donating all of my winnings towards hurricane Irma relief. Thank you for your support guys! pic.twitter.com/tNmBAwMEIE
— Du Dang (@NuckleDuDang) September 10, 2017
Dang is also willing to take money out of his own pocket to support up-and-coming players in the fighting game community. EVO is the most popular fighting game tournament in the world, and it’s a great chance for unknown players to have their big break, but with the tournament taking place in Las Vegas, many players around the country or the world simply don’t have the funds to make the trip.
This is where Dang comes in – in 2017, he sponsored three players (Tampa Bison, Ice Effect, and Gunfight) to compete at the event, three players who have the skills to compete but didn’t have the resources to showcase them at the biggest event of the year. Dang repeated this feat in 2018 when he sponsored Realistic to attend the tournament.
I’ll be sending @RRealistic to EVO! Super nice and genuine guy in the community. His reaction almost brought me to tears. 😇 See you in Vegas buddy! pic.twitter.com/ypDpuiptEa
— Du Dang (@NuckleDuDang) July 9, 2018
By giving back to the community and contributing to noble causes, NuckleDu is showing esports competitors how to be both a great champion and a great human being.