Standing in the middle of the Pleasant Park soccer field, an ascending snake of construction begins to roll around me: fast and accurate construction, each location strategically placed and fitting together like a 3D puzzle.
In a matter of seconds, I look towards an impenetrable metal fortress while the architect looks at me triumphantly and shouts "now it's your turn".
Last month, the Wall Street Journal revealed that parents are paying Fortnite coaches to teach their children. Why? Due to the game policy. Fortnite is the last social test field, following a long line of generational trends such as Pokemon, Beyblade and conkers. For a child, not being talented makes you the dwarf of the pack, or the laughingstock of the schoolyard.
To avoid praise from their peers, parents hire Fortnite tutors to hone their children's skills, like a piano or guitar teacher, and pay them between $ 7 and $ 30 per hour.
When the Wall Street Journal made this revelation, the online reaction was mixed. While some compared hiring a video game tutor with a soccer tutor, others could not see the reason why parents spent so much money on a game. Surely it is a waste of money to hire a tutor for what should be a pleasant and entertaining distraction. But what do these tutorials really involve and really improve your Fortnite skills? I hired my own Fortnite tutor to find out.
My own Yoda
I would consider myself an intermediary of Fortnite. My strategy is usually to loot and hide until the final storms, avoiding frontal combat where possible and obtaining a handful of eliminations when luck feels merciful. Although I often place myself in the top 10 for solo matches, and I have the occasional duo of winning with friends, there is definitely room for improvement.
So who better to teach me than a professional Fortnite player? Enter Harry Darwin – Fortnite pro, Twitch Streamer and my own Yoda, on a mission to go from being a Padawan to a full-blown Jedi (Fort) Knight.
Harry, also known as DarzFN, is the most valued and most expensive Fortnite tutor on the Gamer Sensei website. With a charge of $ 30 per hour per class, Harry's profile as a trainer has more than 10 years of experience in competitive games, tournament victories, a contract with a professional Fortnite team and love of dogs. It's not hard to see why it's the best, so I send it a message.
It was not long before Harry came back to me, ready to help and with his feet on the ground as advertised. We organized my two-hour lesson for a week later and I apologize in advance for my poor skills.
There is something very distressing about knowing that you are going to play a game with a professional, especially when it is common knowledge among your group of friends that you have all the precision of a dizzy mole. 19659002] When the day finally arrives, I find myself extremely nervous. Will you judge my accuracy? What if I am the worst student I have ever had? What happens if he does not show up?
The latter became a real concern when the clock read 5:30 p.m. and Harry had not shown up, but the fear quickly eased when I got a message from my Yoda: he just went to the gym and was taking a shower. Gaming Senseis are also normal people.
I boot my PlayStation 4 and prepare Skype Harry, who is playing on the PC. The problem with this arrangement is that I can hear Harry great, but it's not my game.
As announced, Harry is a down-to-earth Englishman when he was in his early twenties. He is talkative and close, putting me at ease immediately. He explains his plan for our two-hour session: we will start practicing strategy in the game in duos and then we will move to playgrounds to work in construction.
Lucky Landing and Looting
Harry's first question is about my controller design. After a slight confusion, we work. I use the default configuration of Combat Pro. Harry's first recommendation is to switch to Builder Pro (which he did not even know existed), since this allows you to build much faster.
"Fortnite is about building," explains Harry. "The best players are not really … necessarily the best shooters, it's usually the speed you build and how efficiently you can build."
"Builder Pro makes it easier to get to certain levels of construction, so you help speed up your building., your precision. "
We decided not to change the configuration now, as it would make Harry's work even harder. When we tested Builder Pro after our lesson, I understand why it recommended keeping my original configuration for the lesson: my wall was built reminiscent of a labyrinth built by a drunken lord. You can activate Builder Pro in your own console by going to & # 39; Settings & # 39 ;, & # 39; Wireless Controller & # 39; and selecting & # 39; Builder Pro & # 39; in & # 39; Configuration & # 39;
The jokes are over and the time is coming so that b Hear the Battle Bus. While we wait for a game, we make a small talk. Harry takes the initiative, asks about my work and about the games I enjoy. Immediately I begin to lose the quiver in my voice. I throw a touch in his direction and raise my beak to his character, forgetting that I'm not playing with a friend but with a teacher, it's the equivalent of calling your teacher "friend".
It's not long before we're aboard the Battle Bus. Harry advises that we land out of the way of the bus, somewhere like Lonely Lodge, Wailing Woods, Junkyard Junction or Snobby Shores . But instead of landing in these destinations, he decides to show me his favorite landing place: the factory without marking to the south.
The objective is to land as fast as possible, so you have time to loot everything and grab a weapon before the enemies, but it has never been my strong point. I am more of the type "let's go over the place where I must land for an unnecessary amount of time". The trick, Harry explains, is to make a quick landing on low ground, unlike the mountains. To do that, you must try to open your parachute to a grid of your landing destination.
The reason why Harry tends to choose the factory without marking is simple: it is not very popular and there is a lot of loot. The most important thing is that there are many materials and are the key element of Harry's game: "always build on weapons."
So, what materials are best to grow? Wood, apparently, since it is quick to grow. Two minutes after having fallen, he has already collected 260 pieces.
"When we're in a fight, that's going to give me a lot of resources to defend myself," he explains. "All the games we're trying to catch" up to 999 of wood. That's what we're going to try to change in your game. "
While we enjoy the limited amount of quiet time, Harry takes the opportunity to ask about my Fortnite experience, I feel silly, while nervously rhyming my solo, duo and squad wins, laughs politely and encourages me" it's not bad "- we both know he's lying.
As we head toward the center of the storm, Harry continues to grow trees, gather boxes of ammunition and smash furniture, constantly thinking about his resources.
the people I teach, when it comes to fighting, first shoot and build later, "he tells me." They are efficient in construction and able to build is like having a million shields. "
While I am silent, Harry decides to teach me about the power of peeking, and he advises that when we enter combat, my first reaction is to build a wall, and then perhaps a series of stairs put in place to look out.
So, how does it look? It's pretty simple, you bend over so the enemy can not see you cross the stairs, then quickly peeks (or unmask), take a few shots and turn Crouching again is a great way to shoot an enemy without becoming vulnerable to fire The problem is when the enemies begin to pile up with you The solution: build up and take the highest ground
Harry You can not emphasize the importance of a higher ground enough, it is a vital element of your winning strategy, and it is particularly important in the latter zones because it allows you to shoot down on your enemy, creates It's a bigger hitbox on them and therefore, causing more damage. You should always consider positioning before combat.
"The main thing is the information we can obtain," he explains. "We can find out where the other players are, we can plan our next move a little better and it's much harder for others to compromise our position and hurt us."
As the final storm closes, we continue looking for higher ground, somewhere not too central. Harry has memorized the direction that Battle Bus took, so he has an idea of where most of the players fell: his eyes are forever in the minor details.
As we enter the final storms, I think it's a good time to ask if my cargo capacity is up to the job: I have an SMG, two pistols and an assault rifle.
"My favorite charge would be: a shotgun, an SMG, a rifle and a sniper or RPG, the last slot I always keep for a bit of healing," he tells me as we run to the next expert-placed Harry marker.
"SMG is useful for spraying walls, so when players hide behind the walls you can take out your SMG and spray the wall down, I usually play with a shotgun because you can get more damage. Console players it's easier to use a tactical shotgun, it's definitely something I would recommend for the console, I take a rifle for that medium long range and then a sniper or RPG. "
But his absolute favorite weapon is a shotgun like "it's perfect for hand-to-hand combat." So, what weapons should I get rid of? "They are definitely both," says Harry. "They are pretty useless to be honest, the shotgun is much better." They are my favorites
So, shots. An enemy team approaches and immediately begins to panic, but Harry is not worried. "We could fight here, but in these later areas the positioning is so, very important," he explains. We continue with our next marker when Harry lifts the walls behind us.
Still concentrating on the higher ground, Harry has put our marker on a hill. When we arrive, he immediately begins to put together a metal fort, our safe haven in chaos. I try and stay close, but apparently that's not ideal. "I like to have your own space," he tells me politely. "Because if the two of you are in the same space, then it starts to be a bit uncomfortable, people are pushing and things like that."
They are the last 11 and they are disturbingly silent. The calm before the storm, so to speak. We sit in our metal fortress, Harry explains what we will do when the enemies attack: knock them down, push them into higher ground or, in the case of a grenade launcher, get out of dodge. This was lost on me.
Less than 10 seconds later, a grenade exploded in our fort, knocking me down (I did not move) and leaving only Harry to face only the explosive couple. While I was under a protective ramp that Harry had built, I watched him go in and out, dodging enemy shots and building up platforms until he was finally shot down. We arrived in second place.
I apologize profusely for my inability to multitask, but Harry is as kind as ever. "The easiest way to learn is to try to force yourself to remember something," reassures me. "You need to think I'm in a fight, I need to build now." The more you do it, the more it will become muscle memory. "
Become a teacher
While I wallow in defeat, I ask Harry how he became a professional Fortnite trainer. My guess was that you just subscribe and that's it, but apparently the process is much more professional.
Harry explains that he is a professional Fortnite player, currently in the midst of signing a contract with a professional team (he could not say where). It was while playing in a tournament that he heard about training, since his opponent stated that they were a coach and referred Harry to Gamer Sensei when he showed interest in joining.
Like any job, becoming a coach involves going through a selection and interview process that examines the Fortnite experience of applicants, personalities and performs background checks. So, how has Harry become so popular? Having entered just at the beginning of Fortnite's exaggeration, Harry says he was "in the right place at the right time" and that he has plenty of time to comment. Since it became known that Fortnite's tutors are available, Harry had to increase his rate due to the increased demand.
But it's not just the children he teaches: many of his students are teenagers, semi professionals, adults and parents. "I train anyone and everyone," he laughs. "I think coaching has grown due to the rise of electronic sports, if you like football, then you will look to admire Steven Gerrard, I feel that, in this day and age, people are beginning to admire the streamers and the players professionals ".
"People are looking for these players, they want to be like them, a soccer fan could start soccer classes because they want to be like their idol, I think that is one of the main reasons why training is becoming so popular. "
But not all of Fortnite's hype has been positive, social media and the press have abounded in articles about Fortnite addiction, predators and how the game is changing. the brain of our children to porridge.
"There are many things in this world that people become addicted to that are very bad for them," Harry tells me. "I feel like playing, yes, it can be one of them, but it can also eat or run too much."
"There are many things that, if you do too much, can have negative effects. Aiming the finger and blaming something is the easiest way out. What parents should be doing is educating their children to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle. "
Playing Fortnite to make a living may sound like a dream, but Harry is also a student and balances his coaching , pro gaming, social life and down time can be a struggle. Even during our game, he had to ask for a ten-minute break to eat his dinner, which he had let cool.
Harry is currently debating whether to postpone a year of A full-time game career is not something he plans to do with pink glasses.
"It's a generational thing: not many older people are playing so they do not have the experience that young people have to enter other commercial companies or lead a team, "he explains." Even if the professional career does not take off, I'm hoping that networking will help and I can earn some money to invest. "
As we play more games, I feel that I am learning a lot of theory that I can not implement practically due to my own slowness. However, I strive to build the moment when I see enemies and consider the strategy of my movements. Harry praises me for my increasing reaction speed, although my compilations are often poorly organized and in the wrong place.
Harry decides it's time to move to Playgrounds to work on strategy building. We landed at Pleasant Park and leveled the soccer field to give us a space to build. The first lesson is simple: block someone who shoots you. We are at opposite ends of the field and Harry explains that he will start firing at me, my job is to keep pressing R2 to continue building walls, so that every time one is destroyed, another immediately takes its place.
Ready for the sweet embrace of death, I agree. Harry counts down and begins to spray his SMG towards me, I immediately press R2 and shake my eyes back and forth to create two walls that are automatically replaced by another when they fall. I am invincible. As Harry runs out of ammunition, he orders me to build a ladder on the wall that I have built and make some shots while recharging. It is a simple but effective trick.
As we continue, Harry shows me simple but effective ways to build structures that are hard to destroy for enemies quickly. Most of the facilities are quite simple, like building a wall and a floor on each step to prevent it from firing from under you or building double stairs, and it makes me wonder how I had never considered them before.
I have always seen Fortnite as an FPS with construction mechanics when I should really see it as an engineering game with some shots involved. Construction and strategy are the key.
"I came to Fortnite with the mentality that I wanted to be the best," Harry explains as we maneuver around the wooden remains of my lessons. "When I looked at the others, I picked up the material in a few minutes and I learned it very quickly … The players in general do not have that mentality and when they are watching streamers it's for fun, while I was waiting for their review"
Changing your form think
In general, Harry's lessons span more than ten sessions, however, my intensive two-hour class was still very beneficial for me. Not only because of the strategies I learned, but because of the way my vision of Fortnite changed. Now I find myself prioritizing materials and construction, building walls at the first sign of combat and not taking unnecessary risks with opponents, where before I used to forget about the construction element.
Fortnite coaches can never earn the same level of respect as piano teachers and instructors of the general public, but they are providing an important service in a constantly growing market, esports and games, so it's time for us to address the Battle Bus and enjoy the trip.
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