15-year-old Jaden ‘Wolfiez’ Ashman was just a regular kid that played video games until he won 2nd place in the duos category of the Fortnite World Cup on 27 July 2019, and won a million dollars. His success did not come easy, however. Being a teenager under his mother’s roof, he had to cope with his mother trying to end his gaming obsession before realising it could earn him a living.
Due to his commitment to the game, Ashman often never submitted his homework on time, leading to a disgruntled mother. His computer got taken by his mother away at one point during the solo World Cup week one, causing him to be unable to play the first week. Despite clashing in ideals, the mother and son duo set boundaries and struck a balance when he started earning money. Ashman competes under the username ‘Wolfiez’, and he set a Guinness world record for being the youngest person in esports history to win US$1million (S$1.4 million) at a single event.
The British teenager turned millionaire promised to buy his mum a house after he won. Before winning his first million, Jaden and his mother were living in rented accommodation and were unable to save up for a mortgage. They were living day-to-day, and it was overall stressful for his mum, who had to take care of Jaden’s younger sibling as well.
After winning the Fortnite World Cup, he went ahead and bought him and his mum a house.
In an interview with BBC, Jaden mentions that paying taxes on the house was what struck a chord with him.
“It’s a really good feeling, to be able to buy the house and keep my word to my mum. All the stresses that she doesn’t have anymore, it’s just a nice feeling.”
The mother and son pair initially expected to be paid $50 thousand but planned to buy a house anyway, with his mother working to pay off the mortgage. However, with Jaden now a million richer, he purchased the house and paid the mortgage as well, which gave his mum a pleasant surprise. The house is currently under renovation, and next in line to develop is Jaden’s gaming room. In his room holds his Guinness world record, a clipping of his first news feature, and his orange and black outline wolf logo, plastered proudly on a wall.
A year later, Jaden is still playing Fortnite competitively and making a living out of it. He hopes to be a professional player for years to come.
After winning second place in the World Cup, Jaden has signed with Excel Sports and is now a part of its roster. Jaden is the first Fortnite player that the UK organisation signed, who also has a League of Legends roster. Jaden has spoken about his excitement and cited that Excel Esports was a perfect fit for him.
In May 2020, Jaden had competed in the Fortnite Championship Series Invitational (FNCS). The solo-competition FNCS Invitational pools together the highest performing players from the first season, and a hundred players directly invited by Epic. The total prize pool is $2 million, split among the top-placing competitors.
Jaden ranked number 2 after the first day of the competition in the Europe region. At the end of the FNCS Invitational, Jaden ‘XL Wolfiez’ Ashman fought his way into second place with a final intense game that earned him 234 total points and made him $95,000 richer.
Despite certain games having a short lifespan, Jaden isn’t worried about Fortnite losing any hype. The game boasts over 200 million players worldwide, generating an estimated US$1.8 billion in revenue for Epic Games last year. Jaden strives to be the best Fortnite player and hopes to continue to build his brand and loyal following so that he can continue to play competitively in another game when Fortnite eventually dies down.