Teenager Will Take Home $3 Million After Winning Fortnite World Championship
A US teenager who goes by the name Bugha – real name Kyle Giersdorf – became the Fortnite World Cup Champion. The 16-year-old beat 99 other players in the brightly colored Battle Royale game, running, building and fighting his way to a $3m victory.
It’s the largest prize in eSports history and the competitors from the different categories shared in a USD$30 million (AUD$43 million/£24 million) pool.
Esports events have seen rapid growth in recent years, and the three-day Fortnite World Cup in the Big Apple, which culminated in Sunday’s showdown inside a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open tennis venue in Queens, has helped to bring esports — and Fortnite — to an even wider audience.
After securing a victory in the first round and nine in-game kills, Giersdorf went on to rack up dozens of in-game kills each round, until he ended up with 59 points — a huge lead over the second-place winner.
He had been training up to 10 hours a day in his home city of Philadelphia in order to prepare for the competition.
The finale had 100 players all vying for the top spot and they were the best of the best of around 40 million people who applied.
“All I want is a new desk and maybe a desk for my trophy,” Kyle said after his win. “I’m just so happy. Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off. It’s just insane.”
His mum told ESPN: “I literally feel like I’m in a dream right now. It’s so surreal…This is life-changing for him.
“He’s been playing video games since he was three, so this is his passion. He told us he could do this, he put his mind to it and he did it.”
Kyle added to ESPN: “Emotionally, right now, I don’t feel too much, except I know that this could pretty much change my life forever. It’s just absolutely unreal.
“From the start, I had a big lead. From there I knew I had to have consistent games, which you can’t always rely on placement but also kills. Looking for those kills really pushed me up in the leaderboard.”
Everyone who participated in the games on Sunday, including those who placed last with no points at all, takes home at least $50,000 for playing. That makes this one of the biggest tournaments in esports so far. Epic Games is promising there will be more competitive events later this year.