Eight-year-old Fortnite player given $33,000 and $5,000 PC for turning pro


Posts: 6,672   +59
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WTF?! Imagine being eight years old and getting $33,000 along with a $5,000 PC after becoming a pro gamer. For Joseph Deen, better known as Gosu, this became a reality last December when he signed with eSports organization Team 33, making him the second-youngest professional gamer ever.

California-based Deen has been playing Fortnite since he was four years old, and was first noticed by Team 33, a relative unknown in the community, 18 months ago. "I've thought about being a professional gamer a lot, but no one took me seriously until Team 33 came along," he told the BBC.

A Team 33 scout spotted Deen's talent and started playing one-on-one matches with the boy, eventually realizing that if they didn't sign him, someone else would.

Fortnite is rated T (for Teen) by the ESRB and has a PEGI rating of 12, though anyone who's played a Call of Duty online match will know age ratings are rarely a deterrent to kids. However, his young age does mean he won't compete in Fortnite competitions with cash prizes until he is 13, though he can still enter tournaments where money isn't on offer. He's also restricted from Twitch until his thirteenth birthday.

Fortnite pro gaming, a career in which you consider retirement at 25

"Joseph is legally allowed to be in tournaments with no cup," said Team 33's chief executive and founder, Tyler Gallagher. "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. So in our view if we can make $33,000 out of all that we do over the next few years we win, and that is what we are shooting for."

Team 33 added that it plans to "groom him to be a top-level player," which may be a poor choice of words when talking about an eight-year-old.

There have been concerns over someone as young as Deen signing a contract, but his mother, Gigi, is unconcerned. "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," she said.

Deen isn't the youngest-ever pro-gamer. According to the Guinness Book of Records, another American player, Victor De Leon III, known online as "Lil Poison," holds this honor after signing a pro deal in 2005 at the age of seven.

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Posts: 223   +77
Fortnite is rated T (for Teen) by the ESRB and has a PEGI rating of 12

then how is he

"legally allowed to be in tournaments with no cup,"

that's an oxymoron if ever there was


Posts: 16   +12
This is so wrong. He will start skipping school mentally and when he is washed up at 12 he will be left with nothing. Grooming is the right word, while not for sex, commercially yes. Its like big Tobacco trying to get kids to try vaping and chewing tobacco. If the game industry does not impose stardards themselves goverments will.


Posts: 61   +32
What sort of parent starts their kids off on Fortnite at age 4? My kids were watching Thomas the Tank Engine and My Little Pony. They played ball in the yard and jumped on the trampoline, came in for a drink and fruit slices when they were hot and then when back out.

I dunno, maybe I'm just old fashioned, but this doesn't seem healthy to me.


Posts: 1,025   +411
This is so wrong. He will start skipping school mentally and when he is washed up at 12 he will be left with nothing.

You obviously don't understand modern upbringing. Nowadays the goal is to produce children who are useless, who play games and smoke marijuana, worry about stupid things (like CO2) while ignoring the things which will kill them much sooner.

By following those guidelines, modern generations will be able to become more useless (and harmful) than any previous generation, so a rare percent of them who will have children, can produce another wave of even stupider children.

People who said that machines will be smarter than humans were right. But what they didn't understand was that machines smarter than humans already exist. For example, iPhone 6 is smarter than an average human. Maybe not today. But give it 20-30 years and an oild dilapidated iPhone 6 will be smarter than an average human.