Parents are paying Fortnite coaches to help their children win

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Fortnite mania is sweeping the globe. While some have expressed concern over the game and the impact it is having on children, others view it as an opportunity to cash in.

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, some parents are paying as much as $20 per hour to have their kids tutored by “expert” players. The reason? Well, it depends on who you ask.

Ally Hicks told the publication she was worried that her 10-year-old son wasn’t winning in Fortnite so she spent around $50 for four hours of online lessons. “There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it,” Hicks said. “You can imagine what that was like for him at school.”

Nick Mennen, who happily paid $20 an hour for lessons for his 12-year-old son, sees it as an investment in the future with aspirations for a scholarship or tournament money.

Others, like Paul Rakovich from Colorado, pay for lessons for themselves so they can better participate in their kids' hobbies.

Competitive gaming for years has been gaining momentum as a legitimate sport. If that’s the case, as some parents argue, then what’s the difference in paying a coach to help a child excel at baseball or basketball versus getting better at a particular video game? Your thoughts?

Photo via Getty Images

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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
Helicopter parents. There is zero need for a parent to pay someone to coach their kid in how to better play an online game, other than it makes the parent feel good about themselves.

Besides, a simple Google search will provide numerous game hints, tips and walk-throughs (including a bunch of tutorials on YouTube) for pretty much any game out there. That's what I did for Titanfall as I was regularly getting my rear-end handed to me on a platter. A little research helped me improve my game so at least I could hold my own.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
The concept is the same but also as with any sport, the more your practice the better you get. So your kids sucks at something, ok will make him practice more. Dying/losing is apart of any sport.

We don't teach kids enough about the losing side of things just that they need to win. In life you will fail just as much as you succeed. It's no different in gaming. Practice practice and more practice is what makes you better.
Some people are just gifted with great skills, some can be taught some can't. No coach can teach a kid if he isn't invested in whatever they are doing, also a coach doesn't make a great player, a player making the correct decisions is what makes the player great.

People/parents will do all kinds to help their kids but the biggest lesson is for your kid to learning things on their own. It's apart of life. There wont always be someone there.

Michael Jordan didn't always have a great coach but he got better with practice even when people said he wouldn't make it. Don't let others decide your life, make it happen on your own. You will succeed further in life. You will be a great person in life as long you at least try.
 
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jobeard

TS Ambassador
OUCH! What happened to tutoring for the 3 Rs??? Really screwed up values here. Guess mom/dad are willing to support Jr forever, as he'll never pass an SAT or entrance exam via Fornite.
 

Axiarus

TS Evangelist
Why not pay to get your kids good at a game that can actually give them a salary? Like Overwatch?
 

Skjorn

TS Guru
Why not pay to get your kids good at a game that can actually give them a salary? Like Overwatch?
Uhhhh wut m8.. you know that ONE game from Epic makes more cash than all of Activision/Blizzard. Fornite is projected to make Epic over 8 billion by the years end, and all of Activision/Blizzard made a little over 7 billion in 2017.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
How pathetic is that? Poor parents are afraid their little gem will get an inferior complex from losing? And this is the generation that is going to be running the country in our old age ..... sheeeezzzzeeeeee
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Fortnite isn't designed to be an eSport. Sure skill is a factor but the game has FAR too much RNG to be competitive. Parents are throwing their money away on the wrong game if they think there is going to be an eSport future for Fortnite without some huge changes to the game.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Why not pay to get your kids good at a game that can actually give them a salary? Like Overwatch?
Uhhhh wut m8.. you know that ONE game from Epic makes more cash than all of Activision/Blizzard. Fornite is projected to make Epic over 8 billion by the years end, and all of Activision/Blizzard made a little over 7 billion in 2017.
What does how much the company is making have to do with how much people could be making by playing competitively?
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
I used to see pros take people under their wing and or teach people for in game currency. The kids probably saw the training for sale and asked their parents for the money. What do you want for your birthday Billy? "Fortnite lessons!". I'm sure they begged their parents into it. Or I'd hope so.
 

Axiarus

TS Evangelist
Uhhhh wut m8.. you know that ONE game from Epic makes more cash than all of Activision/Blizzard. Fornite is projected to make Epic over 8 billion by the years end, and all of Activision/Blizzard made a little over 7 billion in 2017.
Blizzard pays a yearly salary of $50k+bonuses to their pro players. Overwatch League runs like an actual sports league, with their players making money whether they win or lose. Other games? If you don't win you don't make crap.
 
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Skjorn

TS Guru
What does how much the company is making have to do with how much people could be making by playing competitively?
Money comes from people. People are your audience. More people watch Fortnite than Overwatch. It really isn't hard to figure out...
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
The only people making money on Fortnite is EPIC and streamers. Fortnite will never ever be a esport game, not in a million years. It's not like Overwatch. That game is way more setup for esports. Blizzard made a 2 yr deal for Overwatch to be seen on TV. The game is going to get a lot of attention, like it or not.

Lets not forget Fortnite has been around for years and only got popular due to PUBGs use of the Unreal engine and EPIC using the BR mode Pubg made famous. They just added it to Fornite and made it free.
If it wasn't for it being for free, we wouldn't even be talking about this game. Because no one sure as hell was talking about the game after it was released years ago.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Money comes from people. People are your audience. More people watch Fortnite than Overwatch. It really isn't hard to figure out...
You do realize that training to be good at fortnite and being a good streamer are two different things correct? The difference between overwatch and fortnite here is that overwatch rewards good players, fortnite doesn't. If you are a good streamer your fans will give you money, not Epic. Comparing making money off Overwatch and money off Fornite is Apples to oranges. There's a clear path to making money off overwatch like every other sports league in the world. You get good at the game, you get paid. With Fortnite you have to hope you have a good personality and are a good streamer. You don't get paid by Epic and you have to deal with the fact that the burden of being a streamer falls squarely on yourself, zero official support. That's all assuming fortnite isn't just some fad. Given that fortnite's game elements aren't competitive, it won't make it anywhere near an eSport level unless the entire structure of the game is changed.

Blizzard pays a yearly salary of $50k+bonuses to their pro players. Overwatch League runs like an actual sports league, with their players making money whether they win or lose. Other games? If you don't win you don't make crap.
Actually $50K is the minimum signing amount for overwatch league. I sometimes watch aimbot calvin, who is a friend of many OWL players, and he accidentally revealed some of the numbers. I know Profit makes over $80K plus extra for his OWL videos. That's not counting the prize pools they win at the end of each stage and the finals either. I expect that a vast majority of players make more than the salary floor.
 

Skjorn

TS Guru
You do realize that training to be good at fortnite and being a good streamer are two different things correct? The difference between overwatch and fortnite here is that overwatch rewards good players, fortnite doesn't. If you are a good streamer your fans will give you money, not Epic. Comparing making money off Overwatch and money off Fornite is Apples to oranges. There's a clear path to making money off overwatch like every other sports league in the world. You get good at the game, you get paid. With Fortnite you have to hope you have a good personality and are a good streamer. You don't get paid by Epic and you have to deal with the fact that the burden of being a streamer falls squarely on yourself, zero official support. That's all assuming fortnite isn't just some fad. Given that fortnite's game elements aren't competitive, it won't make it anywhere near an eSport level unless the entire structure of the game is changed.



Actually $50K is the minimum signing amount for overwatch league. I sometimes watch aimbot calvin, who is a friend of many OWL players, and he accidentally revealed some of the numbers. I know Profit makes over $80K plus extra for his OWL videos. That's not counting the prize pools they win at the end of each stage and the finals either. I expect that a vast majority of players make more than the salary floor.
Would soccer players make as much money if they had a smaller audience? Would anyone with an audience make more money if they had less of an audience? .. Epic has put in $100mil for the 1st year... https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/news/epic-games-will-provide-100-000-000-for-fortnite-esports-tournament
 

Skjorn

TS Guru
The only people making money on Fortnite is EPIC and streamers. Fortnite will never ever be a esport game, not in a million years. It's not like Overwatch. That game is way more setup for esports. Blizzard made a 2 yr deal for Overwatch to be seen on TV. The game is going to get a lot of attention, like it or not.

Lets not forget Fortnite has been around for years and only got popular due to PUBGs use of the Unreal engine and EPIC using the BR mode Pubg made famous. They just added it to Fornite and made it free.
If it wasn't for it being for free, we wouldn't even be talking about this game. Because no one sure as hell was talking about the game after it was released years ago.
Lets not forget that EPIC is putting $100 million into the Fortnite esports prize pool .. and you're talking about it right now .. and it is free.. and not a million years later .. what if if if ffs..

https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/news/fortnite-summer-skirmish

https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/news/epic-games-will-provide-100-000-000-for-fortnite-esports-tournament
 
D

davislane1

I will teach my children...

-How to be fit.
-How to eat well and healthy.
-How to build and run businesses.
-How to be socially popular.
-How to sell.
-How utterly run circles around children who need their parents' help to win at video games.

TL;DR

My children will conquer and subjugate the descendants of helicopter parents and yours should too.
 
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Reactions: Arris and Lionvibez

twistednips

TS Rookie
How pathetic is that? Poor parents are afraid their little gem will get an inferior complex from losing? And this is the generation that is going to be running the country in our old age ..... sheeeezzzzeeeeee
lmfao people do this in a variety of things. what does wanting to get better have to do with an inferiority compex just because it's a video game
 

ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
My thought is that journalists tend to make stories out of pretty marginal phenomenons. There are a lot of Fortnite players, and probably a very small percentage of them get coaching. The main problem I see with this kind of article is that now some parents will go: "I didn't realise coaching Fortnite was a thing. If other people's kids are using coaches, I should get one for mine, too."
 

Nobina

RTX 2080 Ti and iPhone XS MAX 512GB
Fortnite isn't designed to be an eSport. Sure skill is a factor but the game has FAR too much RNG to be competitive. Parents are throwing their money away on the wrong game if they think there is going to be an eSport future for Fortnite without some huge changes to the game.
I agree but the way things are going it's not impossible for Fortnite to become the most viewed esport. Audience is going to be mainly kids who have no concept of competitivness and RNG and will just watch it for their favorite player, regardless of his skill. If u look at LoL you have some really popular players and teams that are not even good, it's just that the players have an established brand and that's all it takes. Also, it's esports or Esports, never eSports, don't say that, nobody likes it.
 
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Nobina

RTX 2080 Ti and iPhone XS MAX 512GB
I will teach my children...

-How to be fit.
-How to eat well and healthy.
-How to build and run businesses.
-How to be socially popular.
-How to sell.
-How utterly run circles around children who need their parents' help to win at video games.

TL;DR

My children will conquer and subjugate the descendants of helicopter parents and yours should too.
Your way of being socially popular will probably be outdated and "lame" in the eyes of younger generations. Even making money is different now. You couldn't imagine people making money off of something like YouTube and Twitch 20 years ago even less.
 

Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
I will teach my children...

-How to be fit.
-How to eat well and healthy.
-How to build and run businesses.
-How to be socially popular.
-How to sell.
-How utterly run circles around children who need their parents' help to win at video games.

TL;DR

My children will conquer and subjugate the descendants of helicopter parents and yours should too.
Conan said it best.

Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?

Conan: To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.

I see you kids doing it in the future lol.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Would soccer players make as much money if they had a smaller audience? Would anyone with an audience make more money if they had less of an audience? .. Epic has put in $100mil for the 1st year... https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/news/epic-games-will-provide-100-000-000-for-fortnite-esports-tournament
I'm aware of that. I'm sure you are aware of the numerous issues the summer skirmish had correct?

https://www.polygon.com/fortnite/2018/7/18/17577332/fortnite-summer-skirmish-event-fixes-opinion

A temporary audience means nothing in the grand scheme of things. An esport needs to be able to maintain, not just peak. If not, those numbers will undoubtedly crumble.