U.S. Teen Kyle Giersdorf Wins $3 Million As ‘Fortnite’ World Cup Champion

The 16-year-old's prize was the largest-ever payout for a single player in an esports tournament.

Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf celebrates after winning the Fortnite World Cup.
Mike Stobe / Getty Images

The 16-year-old's prize was the largest-ever payout for a single player in an esports tournament.

A teen from Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, has just become a millionaire for winning a video game.

Kyle Giersdorf, who is known in the gaming world as “Bugha,” took home the $3 million grand prize in the solo category at the first-ever Fortnite World Cup on Sunday.

“Words can’t really explain it. I’m so happy,” said Giersdorf in an interview posted to Twitter by the event organizers. “Everything I’ve done in the grind has all paid off and it’s just insane.”

The 16-year-old was one of the tens of thousands of gamers who battled it out from the auditions to the final for the $30 million in prizes.

On Saturday, Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen and David “Aqua” W. became the first Fortnite world champions in the duo championship. They won $1.5 million each.

Three other competitors walked away with over a million dollars. The player who is known as Harrison “Psalm” Chang won the second-place prize of $1.8 million, “Epikwhale” (who didn’t divulge his real name) won the third-place prize of $1.2 million, and Nate “Kreo” Kou won third at $1.05 million.

Giersdorf’s family traveled to New York to support the young gamer.

According to his mother Darcy Giersdorf who spoke to ESPN, her son spends eight to 10 hours a day playing the shooter-survival game. His rituals involve eating a Wawa hoagie sandwich and drinking Gatorade before big online bouts.

Giersdorf became a fan favorite at the event by taking control right from the first round and ultimately taking home the top prize for individual players. The young millionaire scored almost double the points than the runner-up.

Giersdorf’s prize was the largest-ever payout for a single player in an esports tournament, according to CNBC.

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Thirteen is the minimum age to compete in the event.

More than 100 players competed over the weekend in duo and solo matches. Over 40 million gamers tried out for a spot in the finals. Fortnite’s creators, Epic Games, spent $100 million on the event, which included 10 weeks of qualifying leading up to the weekend tournament, according to TechCrunch.

The championship took place in New York’s Arthur Ashe tennis stadium. To entertain the crowd of spectators, Epic brought in DJ Marshmello to play a set.

The event had over 9 million views on Sunday on YouTube.

Fortnite was released in 2017. The free game involves a large group of players who are dropped onto an island where they must search for weapons and other resources while eliminating other players. The last one to survive wins. Fortnite is one of the most widely-played video games available, with around 250 million users, according to CNET.