Fortnite is the most popular video game on the planet right now, and, thanks to the rise in professional gamers and Esports — where people can earn hundreds of thousands (and more) playing games — parents are now hiring coaches for their kids to try and master Fortnite. Yep, this is the most 2018 thing we’ve heard of in a long, long time.

Back in the day, and still currently, many parents put pressure on their kids to perform in things like academics and sports, paying lots of money for teachers and coaches to better position the kids for success. But, really, who would ever think that Fortnite coaches would become a thing? Apparently, lots of parents, because a new report from Variety says people are paying as much as $20/hour for these Fortnite tutors.

For whatever reason, kids are feeling pressure to master the video game, which has led to such a strange phenomenon. Here’s what a few parents who pay for a Fortnite coach had to say in the Variety story:

According to those parents, some children are feeling pressure not just to play with their friends, but also succeed.

“There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it,” said Ally Hicks, who bought four hours of lessons for her 10-year-old son. “You can imagine what that was like for him at school.”

Nick Mennen, who’s been paying coaches to tutor his son, Noble, said the 12-year-old’s gone from struggling in the game to “throw[ing] down 10 to 20 wins”.

Does this seem a bit strange to anyone else, or are we just having one of those old man moments? Either way, this whole Fortnite coach thing is happening, which just goes to show how popular gaming has become.

All of this news is, obviously, pretty good PR for the Fortnite series, which just released its trailer for season 5. You can see that tease below.

While we don’t understand why so many kids want to master Fortnite, we have no problem with parents paying for a video game coach. Sure, it’s a bit of a new phenomenon that hasn’t been the norm, but, as mentioned earlier, this is no different than a parent paying for piano lessons or a sports club. In the end, it’s a hobby that his or her kid likes to do and isn’t likely to go pro in. But, hey, one never knows if a kid takes his talents next level and ends up making bank, you know?

Here’s to the kids who look at their healthy video game hobby as a means to connect with friends and show some passion about something they enjoy. That’s what being a kid is all about — but, yes, if we had a kid, it would still be difficult for us to justify hiring a Fortnite coach for him or her.

(H/T Geek, Variety)