A teenager from Philadelphia, United States has just won $3 million of prize money after winning the Fortnite World Cup Sunday for the solos competition—the world’s largest single payout in e-sports history.
No one’s telling 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf to stop spending too much time in front of the computer anymore now that he is $3 million richer from playing the widely popular computer game Fortnite.
Bugha, which is Giersdorf’s online alias, was already dominating the game from the beginning of the finals as spectators describe it.
After starting off the finals by taking in a 19-point performance in the first match, he secured the Victory Royale with nine in-game kills. Bugha 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.
In the end, he stood laughing and shaking his head as the crowd erupted when his name was announced.
“Words can’t really explain it. I’m so happy,” Bugha said.”Everything I’ve done in the grind has all paid off and it’s just insane.”
He said that in the last round, after finding a safe spot to scope out enemies and collecting a lot of loot to use as ammunition, his championship win “was pretty much sealed from there.”
Bugha had been training up to 10 hours a day in his home city of Philadelphia in order to prepare for the competition.
His mum told a sports outled: “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,” she added.
The solos competition for Fortnite World Cup was an event held in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, which hosts the US Open tennis tournament. Furthermore, the game developers, Epic Games, organized the competition.
The recently concluded competition is considered as having the largest prize pool in the history of e-sports, with $30m shared amongst the winners.
Yesterday’s duo finals saw the top team take home $3 million between the two of them, but today’s solo finals led to just one person winning the same amount of money.
The Fortnite World Cup finals for solos consisted of six matches coming from a pool of the top 100 players out of the 40 million players who attempted to join.
For over 10 weeks, the Fortnite World Cup trimmed the millions of desiring players to a hundred where they drop them into the same lobby and eliminate each other to see who the best was among them. Players had to find weapons, build structures and battle to survive in order to stay in the game
There were more than 30 nations that represented the competition. The finals saw 70 players coming from the US, 14 from France and 11 from the UK.
In a tweet posted by the official Fortnite Competitive Twitter account, Psalm took second, while EpikWhale took third. For winning second place, 24-year-old (oldest to join the competition) Harrison “Psalm” Chang — a former professional Heroes of the Storm player — won $1.8 million. Epikwhale took third, winning $1.2 million. He has not publicly disclosed his full name. In fourth, Nate “Kreo” Kou, 18, from Parkland, Florida, won $1.05 million
With the massive prize pool from the Fortnite World Cup, everyone who got a chance to compete also received consolation prizes. Two hundred of the top Fortnite players picked out of the ten qualifying weekends all got a chance to go to New York and battle it out in front of large computer screens.
Additionally, all participants who participated, even those who was not able to score at all, received at least $50,000 for playing—making this one of the biggest tournaments in esports so far.
Statistically speaking, Epic Games’ Fornite has been dominating the billion-dollar e-sports industry because of its introduction of the battle royale feature where all players can all enter a single online server and basically kill each other off until a victor or victors are announced.
Last year, Fortnite had over 200 million registered players worldwide. It is a computer application that is free to download, but players can spend money on in-game purchases.
Players can play alone, as part of a four-person squad or a 20-member team, either with friends or people they do not know.