WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 16-year-old from Pennsylvania bagged the $3 million grand prize at the first-ever Fortnite world cup on Sunday.
- Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who is signed to the Los Angeles-based e-sports organization Sentinels, dominated from the first round and kept a huge lead over the second-place winner.
- All the participants in Sunday’s games took home at least $50,000 — making it one of the biggest e-sports tournaments so far.
Fortnite wrapped up its first-ever massive sporting event by awarding a $3 million grand prize to a 16-year-old from Pennsylvania — the largest-ever payout for a single player in an e-sports tournament.
Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf dominated from the first round and kept a huge lead over the second-place winner, ultimately bagging the prize on Sunday in New York’s Arthur Ashe tennis stadium.
Giersdorf said, “Words can’t really explain it. I’m so happy. Everything I’ve done in the grind has all paid off and it’s just insane.”
In second place bagging $1.8 million was 24-year-old Harrison “Psalm” Chang, a former professional player of Heroes of the Storm. In third place winning $1.2 million was Shane “Epikwhale” Cotton, from Redondo Beach, California. In fourth place winning $1.05 million was 18-year-old Nate “Kreo” Kou, from Parkland, Florida. The only non-American to make top five, winning $900,000, was 13-year-old Thiago “King” Lapp, who represented Argentina and, more broadly, the South America.
With 13 being the minimum age to compete in the World Cup, 24-year-old Chang was one of the oldest competitors.
“It’s great representing the old dudes,” Chang told CNN Business. He observed that while “experience and composure trump everything, Fortnite is a young man’s game.”
Epic games hosted a duos tournament and an amateurs vs. pros competition in the previous days, but the stadium saw the most audience on Sunday. According to the in-game stats reported on Twitch, YouTube, and Fortnite, more than a million viewers watched online.
The competitive Fortnite scene may have already been familiar with Giersdorf, who is signed to the Los Angeles-based e-sports organization Sentinels. But his World Cup win gave him an exponential growth in social media followers.
“He’s such a good player, it’s impossible to not know who he is. I don’t think casual players knew of him. But if you were following the competitive side of things, you definitely were aware of him,” shared 17-year-old Perri Cox, who attended the Fortnite World Cup for all three days.
All the participants in Sunday’s games took home at least $50,000 — even those who placed last with no points at all — making it one of the biggest e-sports tournaments so far.
Epic Games has promised more competitive events later this year.