Meet the 13-year-old Londoner who just became a Fortnite pro
- April 1, 2019
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We know most esports pros are young, but not this young.
Team Secret, best known for its successful Dota 2 pro team, has just set up a pro Fortnite squad – and it includes a 13-year-old Londoner.
Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson, from Sidcup, is much younger than his 21, 20 and 17-year-old teammates, but that hasn’t stopped him from dominating Epic’s phenomenally-successful battle royale game.
Team Secret CEO John Yao told ESPN he scouted Europe and North America to find the best Fortnite players, and discovered an already established group of four made up of two people from Norway, one from Latvia and one from the UK.
Yao didn’t expect the UK player to be so young. “I actually had no idea he was 13 until the team told me,” Yao revealed.
“Because when we looked at some of the videos and we looked at their game play, it was not apparent. What immediately stood out to me was how mature he was, and he sounded just like one of the other guys.”
Jackson said he started playing video games at age nine with the not quite age appropriate Call of Duty series. He got into the battle royale genre via Daybreak’s H1Z1, but switched to Fortnite last year after his friends recommended it.
“And I just fell in love,” he said, “the building mechanisms, how big the skill gap is with building, is just unreal.”
In the video, below, Team Secret introduces its new Fortnite pro squad, and it’s easy to see why the esports organisation snapped up the team. Jackson’s clip shows off his stunning building skills. The speed with which he’s able to construct a tower while fighting other players is quite something.
As you’d expect, Jackson got permission from his parents to sign with Team Secret. “It’s a big opportunity for me, and I sat them down and explained everything that could happen,” he said. “I discussed it with them thoroughly, and they’re very supportive of everything.”
One stumbling block could be Jackson’s age when it comes to a potential fortnite professional league. Epic is yet to get the ball rolling on such a thing, but given the popularity of the game it can’t be far off. If – when – a Fortnite pro league is established, it may stipulate a minimum age for entry. Overwatch League players, for example, must be 18 or older.
“It does worry me a little bit,” Yao said. “But even if they have restrictions like that at the publisher level, there will be tournaments where there will be no age limit.”
In the meantime, Jackson has to contend with doing well at school and Fortnite – just as the tournament scene is heating up. He’s interested in astrophysics and is fascinated by space, he said. As for going pro with Fortnite: “I’m over the moon.”