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Joseph Deen has become the youngest professional Fortnite gamer ever at just eight-years-old. Joseph has been signed by the professional esports team, Team 33. The team, which is based in California, invited him to their headquarters to receive $33,000 and a gaming PC as part of his signing bonus. Joseph has been playing Fortnite since he was four-years-old and said that he dreamed of being a professional gamer but that nobody took him seriously before because of his age.

Although Joseph is the youngest professional Fortnite player, his contemporaries are not much older than him. Eight of the top 10 highest-earning Fortnite players are under 18 and the first-ever Fortnite World Cup was won by 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf. Despite the young age of many professional Fortnite players, there are large sums of money involved. Kyle Giersdorf won a $3 million prize for winning the first, and so far only, Fortnite World Cup in 2019. Fortnite is the third highest paying esports title with nearly $100m in prize money having been paid out to date. It is also one of the fastest-growing competitive games.

Although Team 33 has signed Joseph, he will not be able to compete in the many tournaments which offer prize money. Fortnite tournament rules require that competitors be at least 13-years-old to compete in tournaments with prize money available. Joesph will be able to compete in tournaments that don’t offer prize money and Team 33 has plans to help him grow in the scene. Team 33 wants to help Joseph improve his skills so he is ready for tournaments when he is old enough. Additionally, they plan to film YouTube videos of his progress. They also want to release merchandise under his brand.

Joseph is part of a growing trend of kids wanting to become professional gamers, streamers and influencers. In recent years, social media influencer, YouTuber and professional gamer have been amongst the highest ranked choices for what jobs kids would like to have when they are older. Social media, YouTube and game streaming have all had a rapid effect on what kids want to do. In many lists, careers such as these have been outpacing traditional dream jobs such as doctors, lawyers and teachers. To the youngest generation, YouTuber and professional gamer are equivalent to being a movie star or athlete to previous generations.

Difficult words

Esports (n): A multi-player video game played competitively for spectators.

Headquarters (n): The main office of a company or organisation.

Contemporaries (n): A person or living thing existing at the same time as another.

Tournament (n): A series of contests or games between a number of competitors for a prize.

Scene (n): A specified area of activity or interest.

Merchandise (n): Goods bought or sold, usually with a particular brand to promote something.

Streamer (n): A person who makes live videos of themselves doing a certain activity.

Influencer (n): A person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service through social media.

Outpacing (v): To go or rise faster than something else.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

American English Audio:

Match the Synonym!

1. EsportsA. Sold goods.
2. HeadquartersB. Competition
3. ContemporariesC. Peers
4. TournamentD. Main office.
5. SceneE. Live video maker.
6. MerchandiseF. Faster than.
7. StreamerG. Area of interest.
8. InfluencerH. Competitive online video-gaming.
9. OutpacingI. Famous social media person.

True or False?

1. Joseph Deen is a professional teenage gamer. T / F

2. Team 33 is waiting until Joseph is 13 to give him a signing bonus. T / F

3. The Team 33’s headquarters is based in California. T / F

4. Joseph has been playing Fortnite since before he was five-years-old. T / F

5. Joseph had never thought of being a professional gamer before Team 33 signed him. T / F

6. There has never been a younger professional Fortnite gamer before Joseph. T / F

7. Most of highest-earning Fortnite players are over 18. T / F

8. Professional Fortnite players can earn a lot of money. T / F

9. There have been several Fortnite World Cups since 2015. T / F

10. Team 33 will film YouTube videos of Joseph’s Fortnite training.T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. has / professional / the / Fortnite / gamer / Joseph Deen / ever / youngest / become

2. esports / signed / the / Team 33 / by / professional / been / team, / Joseph / has

3. highest-earning / under 18 / the / Eight / top 10 / players / of / are / Fortnite

4. that / at / 13-years-old / require / be / competitors / Fortnite / tournament / rules / least

5. to / release / They / under / merchandise / also / want / his / brand

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

American English Audio:

TrendDespiteProfessional
BonusPrizeRapid
EsportsPreviousImprove

Joseph Deen has become the youngest (1)______________ Fortnite gamer ever at just eight-years-old. Joseph has been signed by the professional esports team, Team 33. The team, which is based in California, invited him to their headquarters to receive $33,000 and a gaming PC as part of his signing (2)_________. Joseph has been playing Fortnite since he was four-years-old and said that he dreamed of being a professional gamer but that nobody took him seriously before because of his age.

Although Joseph is the youngest professional Fortnite player, his contemporaries are not much older than him. Eight of the top 10 highest-earning Fortnite players are under 18 and the first-ever Fortnite World Cup was won by 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf. (3)___________ the young age of many professional Fortnite players, there are large sums of money involved. Kyle Giersdorf won a $3 million prize for winning the first, and so far only, Fortnite World Cup in 2019. Fortnite is the third highest paying (4)__________ title with nearly $100m in prize money having been paid out to date. It is also one of the fastest-growing competitive games.

Although Team 33 has signed Joseph, he will not be able to compete in the many tournaments which offer (5)_________ money. Fortnite tournament rules require that competitors be at least 13-years-old to compete in tournaments with prize money available. Joesph will be able to compete in tournaments that don’t offer prize money and Team 33 has plans to help him grow in the scene. Team 33 wants to help Joseph (6)____________ his skills so he is ready for tournaments when he is old enough. Additionally, they plan to film YouTube videos of his progress. They also want to release merchandise under his brand.

Joseph is part of a growing (7)__________ of kids wanting to become professional gamers, streamers and influencers. In recent years, social media influencer, YouTuber and professional gamer have been amongst the highest ranked choices for what jobs kids would like to have when they are older. Social media, YouTube and game streaming have all had a (8)_________ effect on what kids want to do. In many lists, careers such as these have been outpacing traditional dream jobs such as doctors, lawyers and teachers. To the youngest generation, YouTuber and professional gamer are equivalent to being a movie star or athlete to (9)____________ generations.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. What do you think about esports?
5. Have you heard of any esports competitions in your country?
6. What do you think about the young ages of many esports gamers?
7. Do you think many children in your country want to be influencers or professional gamers these days?
8. Do you think being an influencer is a good job?
9. What would you say if your child wanted to be an influencer or professional gamer?
10. Do you think wanting to be an influencer or gamer is the same as wanting to be a famous actor or athlete these days?
11. Would you let your child sign with an esports team like Team 33?
12. What was your dream job as a child?
13. Do you follow any influencers or streamers?
14. Should children be helped or encouraged to be influencers or professional gamers?
15. Do you think childrens’ dream jobs will be very different 20 years from now?
16. What do you think about the millions of dollars people can win from esports?
17. Have you ever heard of the game Fortnite before this article?
18. What video games are popular in your country?
19. What is the opinion of children playing video games in your country?
20. Should children have a limit on how much they play games?