Like many teens who grew up playing video games, Jaden Ashman faced his mom trying to end his obsession before realizing that his skills on the controller could help him make a living.
Ashman, who competes as & # 39; Wolfie & # 39;, set a Guinness world record last year when he became the youngest person in esports history to win $ 1 million in a single event, finishing second at Fortnite World Cup finals at the age of 16. “A lot, but we eventually figured it out,” Ashman told Reuters. “I would never get my homework in time. Sometimes it got a little obsessive with my gaming, but we started to set limits.
“During solo World Cup week one I got my PC away, so I couldn’t play the first week of the World Cup!” Playing eight hours of Fortnite daily without school supervision would normally be the perfect excuse for parents to put their children under house arrest.
Still, Ashman and his mom managed to work things out and strike a balance when he started making money. “I didn’t make much (initially), maybe $ 200 here and there,” added the self-educated teenager.
& # 39; Then she realized that as soon as I got an invitation to the World Cup, it was real. & # 39; Ashman’s rise is reflected in the growing number of followers he has on social media. He has already gathered about 750,000 followers on streaming platform Twitch, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
His notable success led esports organization Excel Esports to appoint him as the first official Fortnite player on Friday, adding to their ranks of players competing in another online fighting game, League of Legends. & # 39; When Excel offered me (I thought) they are close to home & # 39; said Ashman. “They offered a sports manager to help me with my mentality. They also have a training facility at Twickenham Stadium that is very close to me.”
Ashman gets to work immediately when he represents Excel in the Fortnite Championship Series Invitational – an online tournament that kicks off Saturday. Some games have a short shelf life, but Ashman isn’t worried Fortnite is losing its appeal: More than 200 million players worldwide are helping Epic Games generate an estimated $ 1.8 billion in revenue last year.
& # 39; Fortnite will last a few more years & # 39 ;, he said. “It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. The numbers are still high, they will peak at certain times.” Hopefully, when it’s done, I’ll have a brand and big enough to just switch to another game and keep my following. “
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