Developing top class gaming skills pays off for teenager
A Morpeth teenager is making his mark in the Esports world.
The online video game Fortnite runs a number of tournaments and in one of its recent All Stars events, Reuben Belisle finished in the top four out of hundreds of competitors and won $80,000 (about £57,800).
The 17-year-old was representing the Ace of Spades Esports organisation and he went to Basingstoke, Hampshire, to use the specialist Esports facilities that it arranged for him.
He plays the Creative mode of the game to warm up, but the main game used for the tournaments is Fortnite Battle Royale.
In this game, weaponless players airdrop from a ‘Battle Bus’ that crosses the game's map. When they land, they must scavenge for weapons, items, resources, and even vehicles while trying to stay alive and to attack and eliminate other players.
Reuben, who attended King Edward VI School, Newminster Middle School and Abbeyfields First School, said: “To participate in that tournament, there were four rounds of qualifiers and the top 100 got to play the event.
“Going to Basingstoke helped a lot because of the environment and the support I got from everyone. I was aiming for around top 20ish, which would have won $10,000, but it was very surprising to finish in the top four.
“It would be one of my biggest goals to qualify for the next Fortnite World Cup (the biggest event), but unfortunately they can’t host one in the meantime because of Covid.”
His proud dad Lee explained that he is in tier two in the Fortnite power ranking system at the moment, but he is third in the UK and in the top 50 in Europe so “it is just a matter of time before he moves up to tier one”.
Lee added: “Reuben has been playing the game since it was released and after doing well in the first set of smaller scale tournaments he entered, the Covid-19 lockdown gave him an opportunity to try some of the bigger tournaments.
“You need to be dedicated to do well at Esports professionally and stay fit and healthy, and it’s great that the hours of practice are paying off for him. If he continues to win big money, it will set him up for life.”