Kim Dotcom, the imprisoned mastermind behind busted file-sharing site Megaupload and, bizarrely, also the top-scoring killer on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, wasn't always a showboating millionaire. He also ran a competitive video game league in the late-90s. And was by all accounts a rather sore loser.
How sore? Like, banning from his league everyone who beat him at a game of first-person shooter Quake 2. That kind of sore loser.
After our original report on Dotcom went up over the weekend, we heard from old-time Quake 2 players who had encountered the billionaire when he was known online as "Kimble". Using that handle, Dotcom - formerly Kim Schmitz - had become a relatively well-known personality among online PC gamers at the time, in part because he ran a Quake league called Liga.net.
In September 1998, PlanetQuake reported that Kimble, after losing a game against Immortal (at the time one of the world's top players), became so upset he banned his opponent from the league, accusing him of using bots, a form of automated cheating. There are then reports from gamers complaining about Immortal's banning were kicked to the curb right alongside him.
Those booted from Dotcom's Liga.net of course claimed it was Kimble himself that had been cheating, because the other thing he was well-known for, regardless of whether it was true or not, was being a high-profile and notorious users of bots.
Going into more detail was this commenter in the original Modern Warfare 3 story from the weekend:
Back in the days of Quake 2 and the Barrysworld free server network, Dotcom used to troll the Rocket Arena 2 duel arenas as 'www.kimble.org' with an aimbot on his 6ms T1 line, raging people to the point that the entire server would clear, rather than put up with him. Then one day he was faced down and beaten by a girl-gamer on a shitty BT ISDN line - one on one, rail only. He raged so hard that he then dc'ed, looked up the player's name up on Quake.net irc and DDoSed the b0rk.co.uk irc bouncer that she used offline. Having realised he'd accomplished nothing, he then proceeded to DDoS the entire Barrysworld server array for a week, out of petty vengeance for being made to look like a twat. He was a cheating shit now, so I'd very surprised if that #1 position is legit now, either. Take a browse through the PlanetQuake archives if you wanna see the other shit he pulled, like banning the people that beat him in the leagues he admined for liga.net. 100% twat material.
Then there's this gem from a forum thread where a bunch of old Quake 2 players are reminiscing:
I remember him. I played him once on barrysworld (Yeh I'm that old :<). Just about the most blatant cheater you'd ever play. .
I got so pissed off at one point that I focused all my attention and managed to kill him once. Which felt pretty good.
His actual nick was www.kimble.org. Which was some sort of huge ego website of him traveling around the world in luxury cars/jets etc squandering money he scammed of some idiots during the dot.com boom.
Needless to say he was arrested for fraud some time later.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that the personality in game isn't all that different outside the game.
While that "huge ego website" is long gone, if you're curious, it featured pictures like this.
A final note: with this stuff taking place over a decade ago, and Dotcom currently cooling in a cell, we can't get his side of the story. And we haven't heard of him cheating to get his world's best Modern Warfare 3 ranking, so he must have some skills.