16 year old wins USD 3 mn at Fortnite World Cup
July 29, 2019 05:56 pm
A US teenager has won a record-breaking $3m (£2.4m) to become world champion of the computer game Fortnite.
It is the largest prize pool in the history of e-sports, with $30m shared amongst the winners.
Kyle Giersdorf, 16, won the solo event of the competition in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, which hosts the US Open tennis tournament.
Jaden Ashman - a 15-year-old from Hornchurch, London - won almost £1m for coming second in the duos event.
And another British teenager - 14-year-old Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson from Sidcup, Kent - also walked away with a major prize.
Mr Giersdorf, known online as Bugha, stood laughing and shaking his head as the crowd erupted when his name was announced.
He told the BBC he wants to save most of his prize. “All I want is a new desk and maybe a desk for my trophy,” he said.
The final game was described by the commentators as a “ridiculous victory lap” as the winner played with a smile on his face whilst beating his rivals.
The event is seen as a major moment in e-sports, which is estimated to be a billion-dollar industry in 2019.
However, its record for the biggest prize pool is already set to be broken by another event called The International, taking place in August.
The Fortnite finals saw 100 players battling on giant computer screens.
Forty million players attempted to qualify over 10 weeks of online competition.
More than 30 nations were represented with 70 players coming from the US, 14 from France and 11 from the UK.
The game involves 100 players being dropped onto an island where they have to find weapons, build structures and eliminate each other until one player comes out on top.
It has 200 million registered players worldwide and 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.
Last month its makers were quizzed by MPs on whether game developers Epic Games did enough to verify the age of players or encourage users to take breaks after long periods of gameplay.
In April, the Duke of Sussex called for Fortnite to be banned, saying the game had been “created to addict”.
The firm’s legal counsel Canon Pence told MPs that Epic Games staff had been “quite taken aback” by Prince Harry’s comment.