Ever since the online survival game, Fortnite burst onto the scene in 2017, the popularity has skyrocketed. In fact, the inaugural Fortnite World Cup took place in the United States recently. Gamer, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf staved off competition from millions of other player to win the grand prize of $3 million.
Giersdorf, naturally, had countless hours of practice and played at a high level over a long period of time. He put it all to good use by dominating six matches of Battle Royale at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. As a result, the 16-year-old pocketed a $3 million check and serious bragging rights.
Aside from him getting a massive payday, each of the 100 finalists came home with $50,000. Thought-provokingly, 13-year old Thiago “King” Lapp placed fifth to win $900,000. On Saturday, in the Duos event, the champions split the $3 million grand prize and the four-player team took home $1.345 million on Friday.
The $30 million prize pool for the Fortnite World Cup was on par with the pot of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The teenager even earned more than golfing legend Tiger Woods when he won the Masters for the 15th time.
It is also worth noting that the Arthur Ashe Stadium will be in use again when the US Open tennis Grand Slam kicks off.
Another thing to consider that the Fortnite World Cup prize pool still pales in comparison with Dota 2‘s The International. However, it is getting there as it topped $30 million last week, and could grow even more. Last year’s winning squad, OG, pocketed $11.2 million. However, Bugha’s prize at the Fortnite World Cup is the largest ever for a single player at an esports tournament.
Interestingly, his victory played out over 10 weeks of qualifying and a one-day grand final. Meanwhile, Blizzard’s Overwatch League, runs from February to September this year. In this popular online fighting game, around $1.1 million is split between several players with a ceiling of 12.
The Fortnite World Cup took place from the 26th of July to the 28th in New York City. Giersdorf started the day strong, winning the first of six games. In the next five games, he continued to place high and accumulate more eliminations, giving him the point lead. He kept the top spot throughout the day and had a commanding lead in the last game, where it seemed almost impossible for him to lose.
According to estimates from Twitch tracking site Githyp, arounf 1.3 million people watched the Sunday finals via the video game streaming site. On YouTube, there were half a million tuning in for the event. There were also viewers on Microsoft’s streaming service Mixer, and players were able to watch the finals while playing Fortnite thanks to a new service from Epic.
Epic announced the 2019 Fortnite World Cup in June 2018. Plans were to have weekly tournaments starting in late 2018 with the finals in 2019. In March, the developer changed its plans, with qualifiers for thestarting in April.