The 15-year-old British gaming star who won almost £1million at the Fortnite World Cup in New York is back home and the first thing he did was play the game that made him a fortune, MailOnline can reveal today.
Jaden Ashman was greeted by family and friends who put up posters and banners outside the home he shares with his mother Lisa in Hornchurch, Essex, this afternoon.
But within half-an-hour he was back on his PC in the bedroom he shares with little brother James, six, where he told MailOnline he has spent ‘thousands of hours’ playing Fortnite after school and at weekends into the early hours.
Despite his eye-watering win, his proud mother Lisa Dallman, 38, revealed her son is ‘skint’ because he will not receive his life-changing cash prize until later in the year.
When the money arrives Jaden wants to buy his family a house, a new car and a pair of Gucci trainers for himself.
Miss Dallman said: ‘It’s one hell of a lot of money that he’s won but I honestly think it’s only the beginning for him and I don’t think he’ll ever have to worry about money in his life.
‘I’m so proud of him and what he’s achieved out there in New York. It’s all been a whirlwind of a trip and I’m just getting my head round what’s happened’.
The first thing Jaden Ashman has done on his return from the USA after winning almost £1million at the Fortnite World Cup was to turn on his PC and play the game
Jaden’s mother Lisa admits her son’s gaming has driven her mad and made her snap his headphone (pictured) but his big win will change their lives
Jaden’s win will also change the lives of his siblings, pictured with his brother and sister James (6) and Katie (10)
A banner was hung from the three-bedroom house in Horchurch to welcome Jaden – but his big win and £50,000-a-year gaming deal is expected to help them move out
After reaching the Fortnite World Cup final Jaden was already guaranteed to return with £50,000 but his £900,000 means he’ll be treating his family as they’re set to move out of their rented three-bedroom place to their very own home.
Jaden flew back to the UK today and posed for MailOnline today with his trophy
Jaden flew to New York last week to compete at the inaugural World Cup with his gaming partner, from the Netherlands, and the friends came second in the early hours of Saturday.
Their prize was $2.25million between them – or around £1.8million, giving them £900,000 each.
As well as his new fortune, Jaden has also signed a reported £50,000-a-year deal with Lazarus, one of the world’s top gaming teams.
Hornchurch teenager Jaden estimates he’s spent about £300 since he started playing it when the game first came out.
‘I was confident we would do well in the world cup but it was great that we came second. It’s all pretty amazing – it doesn’t really feel real yet, it’s not sunk in.
‘I’d say I’ve probably done thousands of hours practice with my duo partner before we went to the tournament.
‘I’d not met him in person before but I felt like I already knew him – so it was cool to meet him.’
Jaden revealed when he and his 21-year-old Dutch playing partner David ‘Rojo’ Jong got together as a duo back in February they didn’t initially click.
‘It took a long while before we got used to playing together as a team but we stuck with it.
‘It definitely paid off as a lot of gamers can’t cope with the way we play and the tactics we use.’
His success is a far cry from when him and his mum rowed so much about his late night gaming she ended up snapping the headphones he wears whilst he plays Fortnite
Jaden flew to New York last week with his mum to compete at the inaugural World Cup with his gaming partner, from the Netherlands, and the friends came second in the early hours of Saturday.
After taping up the headphones Jaden took them to New York with him and they’re now his lucky mascot.
Lisa added: ‘When I go to sleep at the end of a long working day, there’s nothing to stop Jaden playing into the night.
What is Fortnite? Game with 250m players who spend at least £70 each
Fortnite is an online survival game launched in July 2017 by American firm Epic Games.
It began as a player-versus-environment game, where gamers teamed up to take on zombie-like creatures.
Two months later, the Battle Royale version appeared. It pits up to 100 players against each other, sending their digital selves scavenging on an island for weapons and supplies with the sole aim to be the last one standing. It amassed 125million players in its first year. Now 250million have registered.
Fortnite makes its profit through in-game transactions, with players spending real cash on upgrades for their character.
The average player will spend around £70 on a character. But with console accounts often linked to credit cards, some parents find themselves hugely out of pocket.
‘He’s woken me up a few times when he’s been gaming and that’s when I ended up breaking the headphones.
‘He’ll be on the controller and when I walk into his room I’ll hear him say ‘boys, I’ve got to go’ and they know his mum’s cracking down.’
Construction manager Lisa believes Jaden’s feet are firmly on the ground despite his win.
‘We’re renting this house where we are at the moment but we’re not going to rush into anything,’ she said.
Jaden and his mother stayed at the four star Grand Hyatt hotel in New York and spent his down time hanging out and meeting other gamers from the UK and across the globe.
He is now planning on an career in gaming and could potentially make millions through tournaments and through people subscribing to watch him play Fortnite.
But Lisa is keen for her eldest child to ensure he completes his final year of school which begins in September.
‘It’s back to reality for Jaden now – his education is really important.
‘I wanted him to get his GCSEs before we went out to New York and that’s not changed and he’ll have to stay on in education until he’s 18.
‘He loves the business side of things – so if he doesn’t pursue gaming, that’s something for him to consider.’
Jaden Ashman with mother Lisa Dallman who said they had had a ‘nightmare’ arguing over his gaming but now he has won almost £1million at the Fortnite World Cup in NYC
Jaden Ashman, 15, from Essex,and his mother after winning second place in the championships
Jaden Ashman (right) has won half of $2.25 million (£1.8m) after coming second with his teammate Dave Jong (left) in the Fortnite World Cup finals
Fortnite – a free online game where contestants fight to be the last man standing on a digital island – has been played by some 250million people since its launch two years ago and has been dogged by controversy.
Jaden, brought up by his mother in Hornchurch, Essex, competed in the Fortnite World Cup at the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium under gaming name Wolfiez. Forty million players entered the qualifying rounds and were whittled down to around 100 finalists, from 30 countries.
Jaden was previously doing his gaming on an X-Box console but has switched over to a PC as his preferred method of playing although he still users a console controller, which places him a in small minority of tournament players as most use the combination of keyboard and a mouse. Jaden also has a younger sister, Katie, 10, and she’s a big fan of playing Fortnite.
The elite few battled in different competitions and Jaden came second in the pairs contest. He was delighted but admitted his mother had often felt he was wasting his life playing computer games.
He added: ‘Me and my mum, we clash quite a lot. She didn’t understand how it worked, so she thought that I was spending eight hours a day in my room just wasting my time. So, now that I’ve proved to her that I can do stuff, I’m really happy.’
Fans from around the world watched their online heroes in action at New York’s Arthur Ashe stadium
The delighted schoolboy also said: ‘I’m lost for words. My Twitter has been blowing up and I’ve had a load of messages from friends.
‘I’m definitely going to buy a house but I haven’t got a clue where. And some Gucci shoes. I might buy a car for my mum too, as she drives a little Fiat 500.’
Meanwhile, Jaden’s sister Katie Hyams said: ‘When he gets home I’m giving him the biggest hug in the world! He’s gone to America and he has earned so much and done so well, so I’m proud of him.’
Last night, the World Cup was coming to an end with 15-year-old Brit Benjy Fish failing in his bid to land the singles title and a cheque for £2.4million.
Millions of youngsters may now use Jaden’s win to justify their own gaming habit.
There is already concern about addictive technology, with MPs investigating games such as Fortnite – which is free to play but makes its money from charging players for extra features once the game has started.
There have been increasing worries that children in particular are obsessed to such a degree that their health is endangered.
Last year, the World Health Organisation recognised ‘gaming disorder’ among the diseases it monitors.
It said computer game playing becomes a disorder when it has an impact on personal or family relationships and impairs socialising, education or other key areas of life for 12 months or more.
‘Bugha’ of the US celebrates with the trophy after winning the final of the Solo competition at the same event
Forty million players entered the qualifying rounds and were whittled down to around 100 finalists, from 30 countries
A survey of 2,000 British parents this year found that around 50 per cent were concerned that their children were becoming gaming addicts.
It was not uncommon for 11 to 13-year-olds to play computer games for two-and-a-half hours on a school day and almost six hours a day at the weekend.
And Fortnite was the game that concerned parents the most. The violence involved in the game was an issue for many.