When the game launched in December, the developer announced that the first players to achieve Elite status in each of three areas (Exploration, Trading, and Combat) would receive £1,000 (roughly $1,500). The first player to hit all three, however, was promised a whopping £10,000 (a little shy of $15,000).
The big winner, CMDR Onepercent, shared his impressive stats on the game’s forum in February. All it took was playing for 1,029 hours from December 18, 2014, to February 24, 2015 — an average of just under 15 hours per day. Over that period he visited 10,342 unique star systems while traveling 180,688 light years for Exploration, traded 835,410 tons of goods for Trading, and destroyed 9,032 ships for Combat. According to his forum post, he tackled the three disciplines in sequence, starting with exploration, before focusing on trading and finally combat.
How did he find the time? By having a very understanding boss and family, apparently, as CMDR Onepercent went on to explain: “I actually have a job, but it is casual. So therefore I just notified them that I cannot work for ~3 months. Back to work but [sic] Money isn’t everything, But it really would help, for further studies for example. I spent around 12-16 hours per day on this. I was relaxed but and wasn’t sleep deprived (only for the final 3 days). My friends were also notified and were supportive as well as my family.” Unless he works in a very lucrative field, $15,000 for two months of work is a pretty good trade-off.
CMDRs Tequila, Lordkee, and Fromtonrogue took home the £1,000 prizes for Exploration, Trade, and Combat, respectively.