Andrew "Ahady” Hadyeh, a 22-year old from Alberta, Canada, is a world record holder. To those who know, he's one of the fastest humans alive, able to perform impressive feats of stamina, concentration, and speed. However, he's not an athlete, well, not in the traditional sense.
He's a Bloodborne speedrunner.
What is speedrunning?
For those who don't know, speedrunning is completing a video game as fast as possible, either the natural way or with glitches. It's something that requires countless hours of practice. You almost can't really understand difficulty-wise unless you do it. Like sports.
"It's very similar to being an athlete," Hadyeh said. "It's the same verbiage (splits, delta, halfway split) in speedrunning and sports."
As of publication, Hadyeh holds the 1st place trophy for running Bloodborne in the All Bosses Glitchless category with a time of 1 hour 17 minutes and 31 seconds, on speedrun.com. He's also first in All Bosses - Unrestricted and All Bosses - No Clipping, among other various records in the top ten.
Everything starts with the love of the game
Hadyeh's earliest video game memory was playing both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. By all measures, he's a regular gamer. He also likes to fish, and goes to college, but has a burning desire to be the best speedrunner.
Everything starts with the love of the game, he said. Once you play something through, there's a desire to get even more out of it.
"Once I get to the point where I've feel like I've mastered it, that's when I delve (into speedrunning)," he said. "It adds a challenge to the game that wasn't initially intended, and that's appealing."
Try, try again
Hadyeh is a Twitch partner and often streams on his channel. It took him a while to get to that level, and he didn't become one of the best Bloodborne speedrunners by accident.
Ahady started speedrunning in 2017 and spent up to 80 hours a week practicing. Mistakes both infuriated and motivated him to keep going for hours and hours until he could get it right. He calls it a quest for perfection.
"That's what (speedrunners) are searching for," he said. "Any new strategy that might save one second, or less than a second. Everything adds up."
Most of speedrunning, he said, is about building off what someone has previously done, and then improving on it. It's rare for someone to shave minutes off of a time, although it does happen.
Building routes and confidence
Hadyeh said that both speedrunning and streaming have helped him in life.
"Speedrunning has improved my confidence in life. You’re told you can do anything when you’re a kid and you start to believe that less and less as you get older," he said. "I put so much time into speedrunning and I tried my hardest and I got there. That alone improved my confidence and made me see, 'hey if I put in the effort I can take a crack at anything."