Brian Mayfield can hear his son Jalen talking in an adjoining room and wonders for a moment who else is in the house. Then he remembers only Jalen is there. But Jalen isn’t alone. He’s with several of his 2018 Michigan recruit classmates and soon-to-be teammates, connected in the world of Fortnite.
“Sometimes I just shake my head,” Brian Mayfield says in a tone every parent of a teenager has uttered at some point.
Fortnite is the biggest Internet game on the market. Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, announced in January that more than 45 million people were playing the game. The company announced in February that as many as 3.4 million people were playing concurrently. Even if you’re not up-to-date on gamer analytics, that’s a ton of players.
Count Mayfield, the Green twins — Ge’mon and German — and a lot of other Wolverines in those numbers.
“We’ve got Taylor Upshaw, too, Joe [Milton] every once in a while, a couple of times with Shea Patterson,” Jalen Mayfield said. “We’re pretty good.”
Dubs only.. https://t.co/q76A5XFFLq
— Shea Patterson (@SheaPatterson_1) May 24, 2018
Fortnite, for those unaware, is a survival game. In its Battle Royale format, there are 100 players matched up against each other in a field with an ever-decreasing size. They can play individually or as teams of up to four. Last one standing wins.
“I love playing the game. It’s strategy,” German Green said. “At first me and my brother didn’t like it because we weren’t good at it but we saw [professional online gamer] Ninja and we learned how to play. It inspires us to play the game, be like them. Just like football when you watch someone and you want to be like them. Fortnite entertains us, it keeps us out of trouble, we’re in the house.”
Fortnite and Madden got me through senior year
— 〽️ustapha (@MustaphaM_) May 24, 2018
This isn’t just a bonding exercise. It’s competitive. No one likes to lose.
“Since it’s 1 vs. 99 others or you’re in a squad of four, you always get close and you want to take first place or there’s no point in playing,” Mayfield said. “I think the thing that drives us is every time we get second we can’t stop there. We have to get first every time we play or it’s a waste of time.”
Some of the 2018 class, including the Greens and tight end Mustapha Muhammad, will arrive on campus next weekend. The entire class will report by June 23. They will all be together and won’t confuse their parents in the other room.