How an 8-year-old signed a $33,000 contract to play Fortnite on a professional team
At the age of 8, most of us probably played or were reminded to do our homework with our peers.
That is not the case, though, for everybody under eight – some seem to be on enormous salaries already.
The $33,000 contract with a highly selective eSports Team 33, signed by the BBC in December, born Joseph Deen in CaliFornia.
Deen will join their talent pool in Fortnite and fight worldwide against teams.
“I felt amazing when I got offered the contract,” Deen told the BBC. “I’ve thought about being a professional gamer a lot, but no-one took me seriously until Team 33 came along.”
The deal is a culmination of four years of work for Deen, who only started to play Fortnite at the age of four.
In 2019, Fortnite had almost 250 million players, which means 350 million at the beginning of the year, said Statista.
Kyles Jackson, the youngest professional player in 2018 since having signed up with Team Secret, was one of the youngest fortnite players before Deen.
“One of my scouts got in touch and said ‘I’ve got to know this kid called Joseph and he is insanely good,'” said Team 33 co-founder and chief executive, Tyler Gallagher. “After a while, my scout said ‘you’ve got to sign this kid. If we don’t, someone else will!'”
Deen may still have a deal, but he must wait a while until the contests like the Fortnite World Cup are permitted.
The minimum participation age is 13, so Deen’s game requires five years to progress.
In 2019, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, a 16-year-old Kyle, was the winner of the tournament.
Deen claims that learning to play the piano at a young age assisted him in developing his keyboard and mouse function.
Gigi, his Mother, lets him play the game for two to three hours a day during the week and longer on weekends.
“I’ve looked at the game and I don’t think we’re doing anything wrong,” she said. “He’s a balanced child and comes from a good family and he’s not affected by it.”