Matthias Montenegro, 20, had a sudden change in his life last month. Searching for a college abroad, he won 28 scholarships at universities in the United States through an unusual factor: fortnite, Multiplayer gaming and fever among young adults.
Thanks to his talent in sports, the former public school student and resident of São Vicente, on the coast of São Paulo, was approved to coordinate several university eSports teams in the United States. Given the opportunity to choose his destiny, he chose Oklahoma Christian University, where he received a 75% scholarship and will study computer science.
Today’s results are fruits that Mathias started cultivating when he was eight years old. Before any thoughts about colleges or studying abroad, the young man had his first contact with sports and “American culture”, which were interesting at first sight. “I started playing on my father’s PlayStation 2 and then switched to the computer, but I was in this universe.”
Fortnite came into your life when you were in high school. Launched in 2017, the game’s “Battle Royale” mode features 100 players at a time who are confined to an island and must search for equipment and weapons. Only one player or team wins.
As a form of fun and leisure, Mathias started playing two to four hours a day, and over time he improved. Although not always an active participant in competitive Fortnite, the boy stood out among his friends for his prowess as his computer was not suited for tournaments. By planning your future, Fortnite is your chance to achieve your goals.
“In 2021, I looked for many opportunities to study in America, but I didn’t know it was possible to get a place in university through eSports,” he says.
Matthews, like many young men, imagined that basketball, football, track and field and swimming were the only sports in America that guaranteed a scholarship.
In another story, Mathias discovers that Fortnite can make his dream come true as a free time hobby with friends. Guilherme Mannarino, now 18, won 31 scholarships to study in the United States to join the Fortnite team. The youngster’s success inspired Mathias to follow the same path. It worked.
With a well-defined goal from the start (Matheus did not plan to pursue higher education in Brazil), the young man had the support of his family once he realized it was possible. The process of getting into universities is not easy. Besides a series of documents such as showing good grades in high school, extracurricular activities and letters of recommendation from teachers, he had to submit English proficiency tests and Fortnite videos to educational institutions to prove his ability.
Accredited among 28 universities, Oklahoma Christian University, the chosen one, awarded Mathews a scholarship of 75% of the course value. “The city (from Oklahoma) It’s great, teaching (From Computer Science) I am happy and the eSports program is very developed at the university”, he points out the reasons for choosing that institution. Development of your area of expertise in the US (Computer Science) Another important factor in his choice was
“It’s crazy,” Mathias sums up about his life these past few days. “Many people call me and ask me how I did it and congratulate me on networks. I don’t have time to play anymore,” joked the youngster.
However, this achievement does not yet guarantee the youngster a move abroad. Since the scholarship is incomplete, 25% of the expenses remain, which must come from the family. As classes start in August, Mathias needs to raise about R$ 84 thousand. For this, he started a crowdfunding campaign on social media to achieve his goal. “I don’t have a plan B,” said Mathews. Starting higher education in Brazil is difficult if you have not achieved your goal of studying in the US. So far, about 25% of that requirement has been achieved.
Although his departure is not guaranteed, the youngster is excited for this new phase of his career. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve never left São Paulo, or traveled on a plane, but I can’t wait until it’s all real,” he says. Mathias says he’s already spoken to his Fortnite team’s coach and that reconciling studies with training will be a challenge in the first few months. You have to keep your standards high, but also focus on the competition.”
The youngster also plans to inspire youngsters who dream of studying abroad like him. “I want to start mentoring programs because when I went to (universities in the U.S.), there were few people who taught me how to win scholarships through Fortnite and games,” he says.
In the wave of “live streams” on Twitch, Mathias plans to enter this universe. For that, there are some tips. “Following in the footsteps of Klix, Defew and Ninja (Fortnite Streamers) and Alanzoka and Edukoff (Brazilian Content Creators).”
“Communicator. Award-winning creator. Certified twitter geek. Music ninja. General web evangelist.”