Fortnite: From piano player to pro gamer

Fortnite: From piano player to pro gamer

But for Joseph Deen, it was blowing his newly signed contract as a professional gamer dry.

Joseph is the youngest ever paid Fortnite player, having signed with Team 33 in December last year.

The Californian esports team invited him to their headquarters to give him a $33,000 (£23,600) signing bonus and a super-fast computer system.

Fortnite is a first-person style shooting and building game played online by hundreds of millions of gamers around the world.

“I felt great when I was offered the contract,” Joseph told the BBC. “I often thought about becoming a professional gamer, but nobody took me seriously until Team 33 came along.”

According to the website esportsearnings.com, only two of the top 10 highest earning Fortnite players are over 18.

The first, and so far only, Fortnite World Cup was won by then 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who walked away with $3 million (£2.2 million) in 2019.

For fellow American Joseph, who was just starting out in the game at the time, it was a moment of inspiration.

“My dream is to be like Bugha and play like him. I look up to him because nobody took him seriously until he won the World Cup and I feel the same because nobody took me seriously until I was signed by Team 33.”

When Joseph’s signing was first announced, questions were also asked about the type of employment contract he was signing.

Both parties say it doesn’t stipulate any minimum number of hours that the eight-year-old is required to play or train.

“The contract is to protect him really. He can pull out whenever he wants and it’s totally flexible. It’s on his terms and my terms. It’s like a child actor really – they would do more work than he’s doing,” Gigi says.

Team 33 seems relaxed about its long-term investment in Joseph.

“We made the signing announcement so the world knows Joseph’s age, and we don’t make a mistake like FaZe did with H1ghsky1,” said Tyler.

“We can groom him to be a top-level player at a young age and enter him in major cups immediately when he turns the appropriate age, just like the $3m cup Bugha won.

“Joseph is legally allowed to be in tournaments with no cup. We also plan to build up his online presence through YouTube which is also legal. With his online presence we plan to build merchandise for him and sell that as well.

As far as public records show, Joseph is the second-youngest pro gamer ever.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the American Victor De Leon III , known online as “Lil Poison”, became the youngest signed professional video gamer at the age of seven in 2005.

Source: Compsmag.com, Twiter

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Fortnite: From piano player to pro gamer

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