- A 16-year-old video gamer took home $3 million this weekend after winning the Fortnite World Cup final.
- The finals took place in New York City on Saturday and Sunday. 50 duos and 100 solos players competed for a share of the $30 million prize pool, the largest prize pool in the history of e-sports.
- US teen Kyle Giersdorf won the solo event at the competition. Known online as Bugha, Giersdorf has nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, 140,000 followers on Twitch, and 187,000 followers on YouTube.
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A 16-year-old gamer took home $3 million this weekend after winning the Fortnite World Cup final.
US teen Kyle Giersdorf won the solo event at the competition, which took place on Sunday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. More than 40 million players participated in the qualifying events for the final but only 50 duos and 100 solos players made it through the last round and were in for a chance to win a cut of the $30 million prize pool.
Giersdorf, who is known online as Bugha and has nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, 140,000 followers on Twitch, and 187,000 followers on YouTube, celebrated his victory online shortly after.
He told the BBC that he planned to save the prize money. “All I want is a new desk and maybe a desk for my trophy,” he said.
He was later locked out of his social media accounts after they were hacked.
Today was indeed the day… 🏆
— SEN Bugha ✈️ NY (@bugha) July 28, 2019
Fortnite is the most popular video game in the world with more than 250 million registered players. While the game is free to play, players can use V-Bucks to purchase cosmetic items and unlock features in Fortnite. Epic Games reportedly earned more than $2.4 billion from microtransactions in 2018.
The game involves 100 players being parachuted onto a virtual island, and then battling it out until only one remains.
The game’s popularity has sparked debate about whether its business model manipulates players into spending more time playing the game and spending money on the platform.
Read more: The company behind ‘Fortnite’ told UK lawmakers that the game isn’t addictive, after Prince Harry said it was ‘irresponsible’ and should be banned
Prince Harry recently criticized the game at a mental health conference in April, calling it irresponsible as it’s designed to keep players “in front of the computer for as long as possible.”
Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, defended its business model during a hearing with UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
Canon Pence, Epic’s general counsel, told the committee that the company does not believe the game is inherently addictive and while it’s possible for a player to overindulge in Fortnite, that would apply to any hobby.
“Like most things in the world, there is a way to have an unhealthy level of engagement, like even exercise. So I’m sure that there are people who have an unhealthy level of engagement there. So I wouldn’t presume to say that a person who feels that someone they care about spends too much time in Fortnite is wrong, I’d have to see that on a case by case, but I wouldn’t say they’re wrong,” he said.
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