A 16-year-old American, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, walked off with $3 million on Sunday after winning the first World Fortnite championship.
The wildly popular online video game, developed by North Carolina-based Epic Games, gave away prizes worth $30 million in its first tournament held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.
Giersdorf won the solo portion of the Fortnite World Cup by scoring 59 points, 26 more than his nearest competitor, who plays under the name “psalm,” reported Reuters.
Amazingly, as sports writer Darren Rovell pointed out, the teenager’s $3 million prize pool is only $850,000 less than the $3.85 million the winner of the US Open men’s championship will make in a few weeks at the same stadium.
The game’s massive popularity, competitiveness and huge prize money go to highlight, once again, the increasing popularity of professional gaming and its emergence as a serious career for teenagers around the world.
“Words can’t even explain it – I’m just so happy,” Giersdorf said while accepting his cup, “Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off. It’s just insane.”