Fortnite’s first worldwide tournament just ended in New York City, giving out $30 million in prize money. The grand prize winner — 16-year-old Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf took home $3 million, the largest payout ever for an e-sports tournament.
The culmination of one of the biggest gaming tournaments in history, the finals took place at Arthur Ashe tennis stadium. With over 250 million registered accounts, Fortnite is currently the most popular game in the world. In the multiplayer, first-person shooter game, users compete in a “battle royale” to be the last one standing.
After Saturday’s Duos final, which included 50 teams of two, the Sunday Solo competition lined up 100 individual players for six straight matches. Points were awarded for match placement and number of kills. Competitors played in front of a sold-out stadium and were live-streamed on YouTube and Twitch. More than a million viewers tuned in on Sunday alone.
High schooler Kyle Giersdorf won by a landslide. He beat 99 other professional gamers, among them famous streamers. Under his gaming username “
Giersdorf racked up dozens of kills every round, using strategy to collect ammunition and knock down enemies from hidden vantage points. And though his age might be surprising, he was far from the youngest competitor. At nearly half the age of 2nd-place Chang, 5th-place finisher Thiago “King” Lapp qualified for the competition at just 13 years old.
Lapp left on Sunday with $900,000. The rest of the top five went home with over a million each. E
“Words can’t really explain it. I’m so happy,” Giersdorf told competition organizers in an interview posted to Twitter. “Everything I’ve done in the grind has all paid off and it’s just insane.”