Who says hanging out in your parents' basement and playing video games never pays off? Not Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf's parents - at least, not anymore. The 16 year old from Pennsylvania won the first ever Fortnite solo World Cup championship this past weekend.
Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, dished out a total of $30 million in prizes spread over three tournaments: the Duo and Solo competitions and a Celebrity ProAm. But with a grand prize of $3 million, Bugha's take is the largest single award in e-sports history. During qualifications for the World Cup, more than 40 million players around the world battled over a 10-week period until there were just 100 Solo players and 50 Duo teams remaining Those finalists then faced off head-to-head at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. Bugha was actually one of three teens to take home millions in this tournament. An international teen pair also won the Duos prize. Emil "Nyhrox" Bergquist Pedersen, 16, from Norway and Thomas "Aqua" Arnould, 17, from Austria split a $3 million dollar prize.
Overall, entrants in the finals ranged in age from 13 to 24 years old. Perhaps, not the typical What If Geeks crowd. However, Epic Games went to great lengths to ensure it was a family friendly event. They brought in ziplines, zorb balls, human-sized hamster wheels, a mini golf course, a Nerf gun target range, an arena for foam ax duels and maintained a separate stage for attendees to dance with their favorite game characters.
If any Geeks (or their children) are interested in seeing replays of the event, you can find plenty of videos on Twitch, where millions watched the events live during the tournament.