News & Opinion | July 31, 2018 5:36 pm

Parents Are Now Hiring “Fortnite” Coaches For Their Kids

The Wall Street Journal profiles the hottest trend for the hottest video game.

A gamer plays the video game "Fortnite: Battle Royale" developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games on May 03, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
A gamer plays the video game "Fortnite: Battle Royale" developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games on May 03, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

When it comes to the enormously popular video game, Fortnite, some parents are gaining points of a different kind.

The Wall Street Journal has a profile of a rising trend of parents buying online lessons for their kids so they can master the first-person shooter game, which is played by an estimated 125 million gamers around the planet.

As journalist Sarah Needleman writes, “Winning bestows the kind of bragging rights that used to be reserved for the local Little League baseball champ.”

“There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it,” Ally Hicks, who bought four online lessons for her 10-year-old son from a player she recruited from a website. “You can imagine what that was like for him at school.”

But there could also be a financial incentive: Fortnite creator Epic Games Inc. has pledged $100 million in tournament prizes and there are even college varsity teams that are popping up.

Still, many Fortnite coaches are bemused by this parenting trend.

“It’s really surreal to me,” 18-year-old coach Logan Werner told the newspaper. “My dad would have never paid for me to take videogame lessons.”