Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson lives in a district southeast of London called Sidcup. He started playing “Call of Duty” when he was just 9 years old. Last fall, he began playing “Fortnite” as well.
“My friends told me about this new game, ‘Fortnite,’ so I tried it out to see how it is,” Jackson told ESPN. “And I just fell in love — the building mechanisms, how big the skill gap is with building, is just unreal.”
“Fortnite,” an online shooter with a building element from developer Epic Games, is currently one of the world’s most popular video games. It made $126 million in February alone, according to research company SuperData, and it’s one of the most-watched titles on both Twitch and YouTube. Popular streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins recently broke the record for most concurrent viewers on Twitch (for the second time), topping out at 667,000 viewers.
Although there are no official “Fortnite” tournaments right now, Team Secret CEO John Yao said the organization believes Epic Games is going make an esports-related announcement soon, and it wants to be ready. It signed two players from Norway, another from Latvia, and Jackson.
“I actually had no idea he was 13 until the team told me,” Yao said. “Because when we looked at some of the videos and we looked at their game play, it was not apparent. What immediately stood out to me was how mature he was, and he sounded just like one of the other guys.”
Team Secret isn’t the only one preparing for the inevitable “Fortnite” esports scene. Ohio’s Ashland University recently announced it will be the first college in the U.S. to offer scholarships to players.
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