A one-armed teenager and his twin brother are both hoping to become Fortnite pros after joining social purpose-driven UK esports organisation LDN UTD.
14-year-old Ryan Wilson, who was born with one arm, started gaming at seven years old with the help of his brother, Jayden. They’d play Joy Ride on their Xbox 360 using the motion sensing device Kinect.
“I needed to do star jumps,” Ryan said. “But I couldn’t do them properly, as I didn’t have a right arm. So, Jayden would stand behind me, and act as my right arm.”
Today, the boys, who live in Great Paxton, Cambridgeshire, are estimated to be in the top 10,000 Fortnite players globally, despite playing on old machines and less than stellar Wi-Fi. Hence the requirement now to find a broadband and PC supplier.
LDN UTD says it ‘nurtures, develops and educates young talent, and is providing the infrastructure and professional coaching to get the boys to the next level’ as part of its Futures program.
Fortnite coach Darz has been brought on board to work with them.
“We’re so excited,” Ryan said. “We’ve got so much to learn. I know with the support of LDN UTD we’ll both be able to turn pro.
“I really want to show other disabled people what they can do. I want to use my experience, hopefully my success, to inspire them to do the same. To show others that absolutely anything is possible.”
The boys are in the top sets for most subjects at school. They box several times a week with their dad, and Jayden is also a keen footballer.
“To become pros, you need to be in top condition, physically and mentally, so we work on every aspect of our game,” Jayden added. “It’s about far more than just spending hours and hours gaming. When Ryan does well, I want to do even better! We push each other the whole time.”
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the boys,” LDN UTD’s CEO Oliver Weingarten commented. “I have been impressed with their incredible skill and drive. Ryan has such resilience and an incredible in-game IQ and Jayden is a natural leader.
“With the right equipment and support, I can see them climbing the rankings. I can’t wait to see how high they can both go.”
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.