Rani Netz (’21) turns fun game into money making activity

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Courtesy of Lalitha Viswanathan ('22)

Screen shot of Fortnite playing.

When some people think of high schoolers working, images of students babysitting or serving at a restaurant may come to mind. However, for Rani Netz (‘21) sitting in front of a screen with a controller pressed into his hand is work.

Netz participates in competitions offered on a popular video game called Fortnite, where the objective of the game is to stay alive for longer than all the competitors. Netz says he has been playing since he was twelve years old and he typically plays for about eight hours a day for the two weeks leading up to the day of a contest. He said that he realized money was awarded to winners of the competitions and he had developed certain skills needed to win the game.

Netz said he has competed in almost every event towards the middle of the game and one large contest called “FNCSquads” in which he won the first place title. The reward for this contest was $187k split amongst four winners. Netz says there’s always a benefit from the game but not necessarily a monetary reward each time. He says focuses most of his gaming time towards Fortnite as opposed to other games because of the financial aspect of it, and the competitiveness that exists between players with its recent popularity.

I wasn’t good at all in the beginning. It took me about three to four months to get good at it. It’s all about consistency and playing overtime.””

— Rani Netz ('21)

Netz said, “Honestly, I don’t really like the game whatsoever but I play it because there’s money involved,” he repeated the point, “I think it’s really a terrible game.” Netz explained that he is contracted. For his contract, Netz is given a contract for playing the game along with streaming it on different sites such as Youtube or Twitch. Depending on how well he plays or his stream gets many views, his contract will go up.

Netz said he doesn’t run his Instagram, but he just started an account that is run by his manager.

“I wasn’t good at all in the beginning. It took me about three to four months to get good at it. It’s all about consistency and playing overtime.”

A typical game to Netz makes no difference if it is a win or loss, but after winning a contest he said he usually feels extremely excited. While there is no `trick” to the game per se, Netz typically warms up for two to three hours individually and then warms up with his teammates as well. “I don’t get stressed easily. I just keep a positive mindset no matter what.”

The reason Netz decided to enter into his first contest was that there were inspiring gamers that had won large sums of money simply just playing this game. He said his friends also influenced him to start playing. “My first contest, it wasn’t good. I didn’t do well in the beginning because I didn’t understand it, I didn’t know how to play it, but I started playing it more and learning.”

One idea Netz wanted to stress was that it didn’t come easy to him; in fact, it took him countless hours and lots of practice to get to where he is now. “In the beginning, I thought it would be easy and I would be making money straight up, but I only made 400 to 500 dollars. Now I’m making roughly 100k dollars regardless of how I play.”

His future plans are to plug into every opportunity thrown his way and take on the connections that he comes across where can maybe invest his own money in.