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Fortnite puts eight-year-old's Tender Defender skin design into the game

Winner winner.

Is it an ambitious crossover between the world's two most popular battle royale games? Not quite. What you're actually looking at is the latest Fortnite skin, the Tender Defender, which has been created at the request of an eight year old (and most of the Fortnite subreddit). Now, after several months of requests from Fortnite players, the skin is finally available in the item shop.

The story began back in September, when the father of a young Fortnite fan posted his son's Chicken Trooper idea on Reddit in the hope that Epic would add it to the game. According to the post, Connor had been asking his father to submit his chicken trooper suggestion for several months. And, rather quickly, he was joined by the rest of the FortNiteBR subreddit. Players loved the idea so much they created concept art of the skin - complete with a glider, pick-axe and back bling designs.

Taken aback by the reaction, Connor's Dad printed out the artwork to surprise his son when he got back from school. He recorded Connor's reactions to the drawings in a YouTube video, and once again asked Epic to consider introducing the design to Fortnite.

Things went silent for a little while, but last week the artist behind one of the drawings confirmed Epic had contacted them to implement the skin in-game. Feathers began to appear in the watch tower at Lonely Lodge, in what some speculated could be the Chicken Trooper's hideout. Sure enough, leaked Fortnite files showed some distinctly chickeny pieces were due to appear, and as of today, you can now buy the skin in the game. Although Epic changed the name from Chicken Trooper to Tender Defender, the design remains pretty faithful to the concept art by etsyturtle2.

Birds of a feather.

So, how did Connor react to the item's official arrival in the shop? Connor's Dad said he told the news to his son, who is "now sporting a permanent grin". "Thanks to everyone on Reddit who made this possible," he posted on Reddit. "You guys made me the coolest Dad alive." I imagine Connor probably ran around like a headless chicken when he found out.

It's a charming tale, and shows Epic is pretty dedicated to its community - although with 40,000 upvotes on the original Reddit post, you'd be hard pressed to miss it. If you want to follow the story to its end, keep your eyes peeled for the reaction video, which is due to arrive on Connor's family YouTube channel pretty shortly.

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Emma Kent avatar

Emma Kent


A former Eurogamer intern and reporter, Emma loves delving into communities and modding scenes in search of the weird and wonderful. Oh, and be prepared for puns. Lots of horrible puns.