The young man known as the Gamesmaster was a mutant ominipath, he sought a means to prevent humanity's thoughts from overwhelming him after his ominipathic mental powers first manifested. To that end, he began playing mental games with others to keep his mind sharp and focused. At some point the immortal sorceress Selene, then the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club, recruited the Gamesmaster to arbitrate the game played by the wealthy and powerful Upstarts, which involved killing mutants for points with the winner receiving the resources of servitude of their fellow competitors. The Gamesmaster oversaw their efforts, including Fabian Cortez's apparent murder of Magneto; Shinobi Shaw's supposed murder of his own father Sebastian; Trevor Fitzroy's massacre of the Hellions; and Siena Blaze's attempted murder of Cyclops, Storm and Professor X of the X-Men. He maintained a strict scoring system based on degrees of success, awarding Blaze points for the chutzpah she displayed in attacking the X-Men's leader and removing Cortez's points after Magneto was revealed to have survived.
For the second round of the contest, the Gamesmaster selected the mutant technosmith Forge as the Upstarts’ target; however, Forge survived an attack by Fitzroy. The Gamesmaster was then tasked by Mister Sinister with obtaining Proteus’ DNA from Moira MacTaggert, The Gamesmaster selected Siena Blaze for the assignment, but she failed. For the next round of the Upstarts contest, the Gamesmaster targeted the surviving members of the New Mutants and Hellions this particular contest was named the “Younghunt.” Following the capture of Magma, Boomer, Cannonball, Empath, Moonstar, Karma and Firestar, their teammates in X-Force and the New Warriors sought to rescue them. The Gamesmaster would have seen them killed if not for the intervention of Page Guthrie , Cannonball’s mutant younger sister, who convinced the Gamesmaster that a greater game would be to compete with Professor X and other like him in finding and guiding the next generation of mutants.