Sixteen Year Old Fortnite Champion Wins Big
Ever heard of Fortnite? Of course you have. Maybe some kids you know spend hours playing the video game Battle Royale (or you do- I don't judge). The game's player base is massive; according to Fortnite's parent company, Epic Games, the virtual shooter has over 250 million total players as of March 2019. For comparison, there are only four countries in the world with a larger population. While impressive, the real shock and awe came with the Fortnite World Cup.
The Fortnite Championship Series was held over the weekend of July 28th at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens. One hundred "Solo" competitors faced off over a series of rounds to collect points, the player with the most points by the final round won it all- simple enough. Oh, did I mention the prize pool was THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS? First place went to a sixteen-year-old from Pennsylvania, Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf (that name in quotes isn't his middle name, but his screen name), and he took home $3 million dollars alone. Which got me thinking it might be time to pick up a new video game hobby.
The viewership of this competition was also incredible; about two million people streamed the finals through websites such as Twtich and Youtube. While that may sound like a lot; it's a drop in the bucket compared to other massive tournaments, like the 2018 League of Legends World Championship that got 200 million people to watch concurrently. For context, the most-watched Super Bowl was in 2015 (the Seahawks still should have run the ball) and only 114 million people watched that one.
So the next time you see some kids with their nose in their games or doing some silly dances, just imagine: they could become millionaires.