London - Like millions of mothers, Lisa Dallman had often despaired of her son’s obsession with computer games.
Desperate to make 15-year-old Jaden do his homework instead of sitting in his bedroom staring at a screen, she at one point threw out his X-Box and even snapped his headset.
But now young Jaden Ashman has had the last laugh – by playing his way to almost £1-million (about R17.6-million) in the first Fortnite World Cup.
Fortnite – a free online game where contestants fight to be the last man standing on a digital island – has been played by about 250 million people since its launch two years ago and has been dogged by controversy.
Essex teenager Jaden flew to New York last week to compete at the inaugural World Cup – said to be the biggest e-sports event of its kind. With his gaming partner, from the Netherlands, he came second in the early hours of Saturday. Their prize was $2.25-million between them – or around £1.8-million, giving them £900 000 each.
Jaden’s mother was on hand to see him scoop the prize. She admitted he had proved there was some point to spending so much time glued to a computer game. Dallman, 38, said: "If I’m honest with you, I’ve been quite against him gaming. I’ve been more pushing him to his school work. I’ve actually thrown an X-Box out, snapped a headset – we’ve had a nightmare."
Asked about what her son would do with his prize money, Miss Dallman said: "I think Jaden’s not really a materialistic person. He will have a lifetime supply of Uber Eats, and I think that will do him. Just sitting there playing video games and eating takeaways, Jaden would be in his element."
Jaden’s grandmother Angela Dallman, 59, said he was already making plans for his winnings. She added: "I think he’s going to buy a house for his mother. He’s going to buy me a Chinese – that’s what he says."
His younger sister Katie Hyams added: "When he gets home I’m giving him the biggest hug in the world."
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.
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."Daily Mail