We are sorry to report that Paul McGarrity (‘astz’), one of the UK’s earliest pro Unreal Tournament players, has passed away, aged only 36, according to a report in esports news.
Paul was a well-known figure in the early days of the professional online games scene, playing Unreal Tournament and Quake Live competitively, with teams including Dignitas.
In addition to playing, Paul also worked with game development studios, providing consultancy around gameplay and mechanics for first-person shooters (FPS). He was an early employee of the Scottish games-tech company Play2Improve and its innovative FPS Trainer.
Paul is survived by his partner Kathleen and his three children.
Wouter Hinloopen from the UT2004 Community Facebook group has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of Paul’s funeral.
At the time of writing, just over €2,000 has been raised towards the €3,500 goal.
Wouter said: “Today we lost a legend. It pains me deeply to say this, many of you know him from his competitor days, being among the world’s top UT players in peak competition during the glory days of UT.
Tributes have been pouring in from across the games and esports communities.
British esports veterans Michael ‘Odee’ O’Dell (Dignitas founder and ReKTGlobal chief gaming officer), Paul ‘Redeye’ Chaloner (retired host and caster) and Rams ‘r2k’ Singh (former pro gamer and current esports lecturer at the University of Chichester), paid tribute to astz on Twitter:
They were joined by the British Esports Association:
Our thoughts go out to Paul’s partner Kathleen, his children, family and friends.
Rest in peace Paul.