Meet the British 16-year-old esports millionaire who plays Fortnite professionally

By Connie Suggitt

You may have heard of a little game called Fortnite.

The battle royale survival game, which was developed by Epic Games and released in 2017, has exploded in popularity over the last two years and shows no sign of stopping. 

It has led to a number of people building lucrative careers playing Fortnite professionally. 

In fact, in July 2019, the hotly anticipated inaugural Fortnite World Cup took place.

The competition attracted a lot of attention when it was announced in February 2019 and immediately grabbed headlines with its $30 million prize pool for the duo and solo competitions.


The solo competition broke a record before the event even took place, for the largest esports individual tournament prize pool.

A total of $15,287,500 (£12,338,400; €13,731,700) up for grabs with even the player in last place receiving $50,000, and the winner, Kyle Giersdorf, took home $3 million in prize money - the largest payout for a single player in an esports tournament.

First place for the duos was won by Emil 'Nyhrox' Bergquist Pedersen (Norway) and David 'aqua' W. (Austria) making them the first Duos players to become Fortnite World Champions.

Second place was won by Dave 'Rojo' Jong (Netherlands) and Jaden 'Wolfiez' Ashman (UK), but they still walked away with $1 million.

In fact, Jaden, who was just 15 years 229 days old when he secured second-place, has become the youngest gamer to earn $1 million in a single esports tournament as well as the youngest gamer to earn $1 million in esports winnings overall.


Amazingly, Jaden almost missed the Fortnite World Cup entirely after problems securing a visa for the US flight; all because his dog had eaten his birth certificate!

Jaden, now 16, recently came to the Guinness World Records HQ to pick up his certificates, talk to us about his win and of course, play a bit Fortnite.

So how was the Fortnite world cup?

“It was life changing, that pretty much sums it up. I went there expecting to win 50k, guaranteed and I came back with a million.”

How about your earnings?

I bought a house for me and my family and not really spent the rest of it, just keeping it there, just chill.

Why did you decide to play on controller? 

“I started playing with my uncle, he used to play controller and he was really good at it so I kind of looked up to him and it was the first thing I took on”


It is generally accepted that a mouse and keyboard are the superior input method because a mouse has a much more precise aim than an analogue stick. To compensate, controller players are given a touch of 'aim-assist', which mildly draws the players crosshair towards a target. Though a controversial decision, in the end Rojo and Wolfiez have been celebrated for doing so well and representing a community of gamers who prefer controllers.

What’s your training like?

I get on Fortnite and load into Creative by myself for an hour or half an hour. It makes me move my hands a lot!

When you start a match, how much of it is planning ahead?

Going into competitions, I have a coach. They help me look at positioning, because people play in patterns, everyone has their routines. 

They land in a certain place, I land in a certain place. So if you know where they land and where they rotate, you can play yourself around that to capitalise on it.

But when I’m playing like this, or in arena, I just run around.

However, Jayden did face some opposition in his quest to be a pro Fortnite player – not least from his mum Lisa!


“It got to a point where I threw his Xbox away” she said.

“I didn’t take the time to think ‘what is he actually doing on that game?’ I wasn’t interested, I just thought he was wasting his time”

“He said to me before we went [to the World Cup] ‘I’m going to take you to New York and show you what I can do’. And he did. He wanted to make me proud of him and for me to see what he’s capable of.”


“She didn’t really understand how everything worked and what it meant” Jayden said.

“Going to the World Cup, it really helped her understand that it’s not just like, a ‘meme’.”

We can’t to see what record Jayden breaks next!

You can find a 14-page Fortnite special in Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2020.

Gamer's Edition 2020