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Teens Win Millions in Fortnite’s “World Cup”

New York City, New York —(Map)

Several teenagers are going home with millions of dollars in prize money after winning the first “World Cup” of the video game Fortnite. The contest shows how popular e-sports (playing video games for an audience) have become.

Fortnite is a video game played over the internet which has become very popular worldwide. Though it only came out in 2017, it’s now played by over 200 million people. Fortnite is believed to have earned billions of dollars for the company that created it, Epic Games.

Kyle, "Bugha" with winner's cup.
Several teenagers are going home with millions of dollars in prize money after winning the first “World Cup” of the video game Fortnite. The contest shows how popular e-sports have become. Above, Solo winner, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf.
(Source: Epic Games.)

Fortnite can be played alone (Solo), in pairs (Duo), or in small groups. There are several different ways of playing Fortnite, but the most popular is called “Battle Royale”.

At the beginning of a Battle Royale game, up to 100 players drop into the game world from a “Battle Bus”. The players then spend most of their time fighting other players to try to get rid of them. Players can also collect materials to build things in order to protect themselves. In the “creative” version of Fortnite, the focus is on building.

Fortnite's Battle Bus
At the beginning of a Battle Royale game, up to 100 players drop into the game world from a “Battle Bus”. This screenshot shows the Battle Bus above the game world. Players spend most of their time fighting other players to try to get rid of them.
(Source: YouTube Screenshot, Epic Games.)

Over 40 million people tried to get into the World Cup, but only the 100 best were chosen to compete. Players came to New York from 30 different countries. All of the players taking part were males between the ages of 13 and 24. The average age was 16.

The contest was held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. The stadium is usually used for the US Open – a major tennis contest.

Arthur Ashe stadium
The contest was held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. The stadium is usually used for the US Open – a major tennis contest. The picture shows the stadium being used for tennis.
(Source: David W. Boswell [CC BY-SA 3.0], WikimediaCommons.org.)

Tickets to the Fortnite World Cup cost between $50 and $150. Epic Games tried to make the weekend fun for all visitors, whether they were playing or not. The area outside was set up like an amusement park.

Inside the huge stadium, while players played on smaller screens, the game’s progress was shown on giant computer screens that could be seen by people in the audience.

The World Cup had a creative contest and a Duo contest. But most of the interest was centered on the Solo Battle Royale contest.

Fortnite World Cup Contestants
Inside the huge stadium, while players played on smaller screens, the game’s progress was shown on giant computer screens that could be seen by people in the audience.
(Source: YouTube Screenshot, Epic Games.)

For the World Cup Solo contest, there were six different Battle Royale Games. Players could get points for winning these games, and also for staying in the game as long as possible while other players were removed. Players also got points for removing other players from the game.

Kyle Giersdorf won the $3 million grand prize. Kyle, a 16-year-old American playing under the name of “Bugha”, didn’t just win by a little bit. He had almost twice as many points as any other player.

Kyle, "Bugha" raising his hands in victory.
Kyle Giersdorf won the $3 million grand prize. Kyle, a 16-year-old American playing under the name of “Bugha”, had almost twice as many points as any other player.
(Source: Epic Games.)

The Duo contest was won by Emil Bergquist Pedersen (“Nyhrox”) and David Wang (“Aquaa” ). They will share their $3 million first prize.

The Fortnite World Cup winners took home more money than the winners of Wimbledon, a major tennis contest which recently finished in England.

In all, the total prize money for the contest was $30 million. That’s a record for e-sports, but it’s one that’s likely to be broken soon.

Fortnite World Cup Duo winners with trophies.
The Duo contest was won by Emil Bergquist Pedersen (“Nyhrox”) and David Wang (“Aquaa” ). They will share their $3 million first prize.
(Source: Epic Games.)

New York City, New York


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