On Tuesday, Hayward wrote a blog post on his official website entitled "The Fortnite King" and admitted he's become "addicted" to the wildly popular video game after being a "hater at first" because he felt the third-person combat game was too slow.
Now the 28-year-old NBA star says he not only spends a lot of time hunting a Victory Royale, but he also watches the top players to improve his gameplay:
"I also watch a lot of streams in my free time, and everybody is streaming Fortnite right now. To me, that is the best part about Twitch. You can watch the best players play every day, and pick up the same strategies that they have. Personally, I think watching streamers play is the best way to get better, other than practicing yourself. So I watch Ninja, Tfue, Dr. Lupo. It's easy to watch what they do, and try to emulate it."
Hayward is far from alone.
In June, Fortnite developer Epic Games announced the game had reached 125 million players, and last month Devon Pendleton and Christopher Palmeri of Bloomberg reported it was "on track" to generate $2 billion in revenue in 2018.
Fortnite is free to download and play on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iPhone and Nintendo Switch. It uses the digital currency V-Bucks to sell character skins, pickaxes, gliders and other accessories that can cost up to the equivalent of $20 apiece, but provide no in-game competitive advantage.
"It's everywhere now. Everybody plays it," Hayward wrote. "Bleacher Report came out with some article, saying Fortnite had just taken over NBA players' lives. Pretty much every athlete I know has at least played a little. Everybody on our team plays."
He concluded by saying he'd "almost guarantee" a victory in an all-NBA Fortnite match.