A 13-year-old boy has become the youngest professional player of the hit game Fortnite

Kyle Jackson Fortnite professional gamer
Kyle Jackson demonstrating Fortnite to a BBC correspondent.
BBC

  • A 13-year-old boy from Kent, England, has become the youngest professional player of the hit game Fortnite.
  • Kyle Jackson has signed with the e-sports collective Team Secret and will get a share of prize money from any future Fortnite competitions.
  • One of the hottest games right now, Fortnite is a free survival game that has been downloaded more than 40 million times, according to the BBC.

Fortnite is a global phenomenon, and a 13-year-old boy from Kent, England, has become its youngest professional player.

Kyle Jackson is a new member of Team Secret, an e-sports collective that makes money from gaming competitions.

Jackson, who goes by the player name Mongraal, is one of Team Secret's four members. The idea is that he will travel with the team and take part in Fortnite competitions, winning a share of the prize money.

"Playing games and travelling all over the world is kind of a dream for all kids," Jackson told the BBC.

Jackson says he has been gaming since the age of 8.

"When I started playing competitively at 9 or 10," he told the BBC, "I started to realise I was probably better than the average player."

According to the BBC, Jackson, who's still in school, is doing well academically, and his parents are supportive of his hobby — though he's not allowed to play past 9 p.m.

"Currently at school I'm doing very well in pretty much every subject, so they're not really worried about me playing as much as I do," he told the BBC. "I still have time to study."

Fortnite has exploded in popularity

Fortnite is among the most popular games in the world right now. According to the BBC, it has been downloaded more than 40 million times.

A Google Trends chart from earlier this month shows how searches for the game, which launched last year, exploded in March:

Dave Smith/Business Insider

There are multiple versions of the game, but its most popular iteration, Fortnite: Battle Royale, came out in September.

As the name suggests, the game is a multiplayer fight to the death.

At the start of the game, 100 players drop from a "battle bus" and start navigating their way to weapons and other items on the map, scavenging for materials that will help them survive and avoiding dangers like meteors falling from the sky.

Dave Smith/Business Insider

The concept is similar to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, another hugely popular battle-royale-style game.

Fortnite is so popular partly because it's free and available on lots of platforms, like PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and even iPhone and iPad; an Android version is coming soon.

Meanwhile, thousands of people regularly watch Fortnite games on the streaming service Twitch.

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