Adversity has been no stranger to Gears of War pro Yadiel “Sleepytime” Hidalgo. Nor has it stopped him from becoming one of the world’s most talented and decorated players. At age four, his life changed dramatically when his family left home in Puerto Rico and relocated to New York City. New surroundings, new friends and a new language would be reasons enough to mire the average young child in stress, but Hidalgo’s family showed him how to punch away his worries in the boxing ring.  Those experiences in the ring built his confidence and earned him the nickname “Sleepytime,” from his older brother’s ringside chants of, “Sleepytime will make you leave your teeth behind” during Hidalgo’s matches.

The resilience he gained in the boxing ring coupled with the support his family showed him as a young child both fueled Sleepytime’s meteoric rise in the Gears community and stuck with him as he built one of the most storied careers in all of esports. Once again, the glory did not come easily. Sleepytime’s first professional event saw he and his then teammates finish in the top 24, a disappointing result he attributed in part to hindered communication between himself and his teammates.

Rather than quit, Sleepytime decided to further improve his English in hopes of organizing a team to compete – and communicate flawlessly – at the next major event in Mexico City. Despite having built a roster of elite players, the group did not have a team banner to represent with just 48 hours to go until the competition began. At that moment, Ghost Gaming reached out with the offer Sleepytime and his teammates were looking for: Sponsorship of their trip to Mexico City, and a professional banner under which to play. The dream was alive once again.

The Ghost Gaming team began a campaign of elite play, turning heads at several major events with repeated top-five finishes – but the ultimate goal of raising a Gears trophy remained elusive until Season Two of the Gears Pro Circuit, when Sleepytime and his teammates finally reigned supreme in Las Vegas. The long path Sleepytime took to get there only confirms what his fans already know: When it comes to having the fight within him to persevere during what seems like the darkest hour, Yadiel “Sleepytime” Hidalgo is a champion.

Watch Sleepytime’s story during the premiere of ELEAGUE Gears Summer Series: The Bonds and Betrayals of Brotherhood, Friday, June 14, at 11 p.m. ET/PT on TBS!