Professional sports teams and leagues have had a love/hate relationship with Fortnite: Battle Royale. The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks had their issues with the game, while MLB pitcher David Price developed carpal tunnel syndrome that was potentially related to his obsessive Fortnite play.
ESPN has a far more positive Fortnite-and-professional-athletes story up this week, focusing on Trevor Charpie, pitcher for the minor-league Port Charlotte Stonecrabs. Charpie plays Fortnite in part because it’s free entertainment, an important factor for a minor-league ballplayer who only makes $1,550 per month. “Not having money only gave you three choices: you could turn on a movie, lay in your bed or play video games. I chose video games.”
One of Charpie’s former coaches agrees with his new hobby. Players “can’t go to the gym for 24 hours,” so having some time with video games to unwind is a solid alternative, especially if it means they’re not out getting into trouble. Maybe Epic Games should strike a deal with Major League Baseball the same way it did with the National Football League to provide uniforms as skins in Fortnite.