A British teenager whose obsession with video games caused years of arguments with his despairing mother has won almost $2.25 million and become an overnight star after finishing second in the hugely popular Fortnite World Cup.
Essex schoolboy Jaden Ashman, 15, competing under the name Wolfiez, finished runner-up with his Dutch team-mate Dave John (Rojo) in the duos event, landing a $2.25m (£1.8m) prize fund, which they will split.
Fortnite World Cup Finals – Day 2
Ashman was one of several UK gamers to fly to New York to take part in the tournament where 100 competitors, many aged between 12 and 16, battled it out for a total prize pot of $30m – the largest ever for an esport event.
While many of those taking part were professional Fortnite gamers with legions of fans, Ashman was a relative unknown with only a few thousand followers on social media. The teenager put his success down to the many hours he has devoted to Fortnite since the day it came out in September 2017, sometimes playing it for up to eight hours a day.
Fornite World Cup
The Fortnite World Cup is an annual esports competition based on the video game Fortnite, with inaugural final events taking place in July 2019 at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.
A total US$30 million prize pool was available across the various competitions.
Coming back to Ashman, the winner
“Me and my mum, we clash quite a lot,” Ashman told the BBC. “She didn’t understand how it worked, so she thought that I was spending eight hours a day in my room just wasting my time. So now that I’ve proved to her I can do stuff, I’m really happy.”
His mother, Lisa Dallman, said she once threw out an Xbox after an argument but now accepted his career choice as a professional esport player. He got into gaming watching his uncle play the shooter Gears of War, before getting his own Xbox aged six.