Photo courtesy of Fortnite Facebook page
While most parents wish their kids would put down the controller more often, some feel just the opposite: The Wall Street Journal recently reported that parents are hiring videogame tutors (yup, you read that right) to help their kids get better at the game.
Why, you must be asking? Besides the social perks of being the best among Fortnite-obsessed peers, the potential for future scholarships or tournament money keeps these parents shelling out cash for online lessons from pro coaches.
While it sounds idealistic, there’s basis for these parents’ fantasies: Epic Games Inc., the creator of Fortnite (and consequently the Fortnite World Cup), pledged $100 million in tourney prizes for the 2018-19 season. Colleges are also getting in on the trend, including Ashland University in Ohio ($4,000 in tuition for competitive players who join squads of four).
We’ve all heard the arguments for less screen time, and that too much video game play can affect a kids’ emotional and physical health. But these parents believe they’re simply getting their kids help in something they’re passionate about, just like a young baseball player or math whiz would be a prime candidate for extra training or classes.
Sites like Bidvine and Gamer Sensei are where many parents are finding tutors. On Bidvine, a site that hosts ads for various services across many fields, you can become a Pro Fortnite Buddy if you have at least 25 game wins under your belt, Internet access and certain consoles.
According to The Wall Street Journal story, prices for lessons vary. One dad spent $45 on three one-hour sessions of lessons and committed to three more months, while others spent between $10-20 a lesson. But like any sport or skill, pro players can make a bundle if they perform well. Take Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a 26-year-old Fortnite prodigy who pulls in more than $500K a month from streaming live broadcasts of himself playing (meaning thousands of gamers around the world pay to watch him play).
While the payoff can be huge for the cream of the crop, it’ll take some serious training to get your kid to be the best of millions. Still going to limit the kids’ playing time? Or is the Battle Royale of paying for college worth the investment? Tell us in the comments.