A 16-year-old American has become an overnight millionaire after winning the Fortnite World Cup.
Kyle Giersdorf – who likes to go by the name Bugha – triumphed over 99 other players in the inaugural Fortnite World Cup, held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York’s Flushing Meadows on July 26 to 28. According to Epic Games, more than 40 million Fortnite players attempted to qualify for the tournament, competing in a welter of eliminators which began in April.
Giersdorf, a member of the professional esports team Sentinels, was rewarded for his efforts with a $3 million (£2.4 million) prize. 30 different nationalities were represented among the 100 finalists, who faced off in six rounds of last-man-standing battles. The Fortnite World Cup also included competitions for Duos and four-player Fortnite Creative teams.
Speaking to The Guardian, Giersdorf said: “I’m just so happy. Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off.”
The Fortnite World Cup saw a British success, too: 15-year-old Brit Jaden Ashman banked over £1 million after placing second in the Duos competition. Each of the 100 Solo finalists took home at least $50,000. With a prize-money pool of $30 million, the Fortnite World Cup is believed to be the most lucrative esports competition yet staged.