Fortnite World Cup: 16-year-old Bugha wins $3m in Solos finals

Prize money is the most ever offered in an eSports tournament

Anthony Cuthbertson
Sunday 28 July 2019 22:34 BST
Fortnite megastar Ninja reveals he may be first '$10-million-a-year' gamer

A 16-year-old has won $3 million (£2.42m) at the Fortnite World Cup finals, beating more than 40 million players around the world to the grand prize.

Kyle 'Bugha' Giersdorf from Pennsylvania dominated the finals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, beating many better-known players in the Solos event.

"Words just can't even explain it right now, I'm just so happy," he said.

Fortnite developer Epic Games said the tournament was the "most participated-in tournament of all time", and with $30 million on the line for the Creative, Celebrity Pro-Am, Duos and Solos events, it was also the largest prize pool in the history of eSports.

Every player competing at the Fortnite World Cup finals won at least $50,000 just for qualifying.

The top five players became instant millionaires, while Bugha's $3m prize was greater than the winnings of recent Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic.

The prize money was justified by the video game's popularity, which has attracted more than 250 million players since launching in 2017.

The sold-out tournament filled the 23,000-capacity stadium in New York, while millions more watched the proceedings unfold through online live streams.

Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf looked to be in shock after winning the grand prize of $3 million at the Fortnite World Cup finals in New York (Epic Games)

The top 10 of the Solos tournament was mostly comprised of players from the US, though a player from the UK was able to break into the top 20.

Kyle 'Mongraal' Jackson finished in 13th place to claim $150,000 in prize money.

The top 10 finishers of the Fortnite World Cup finals (Epic Games)

Earlier in the tournament, which spanned over three days, two teenagers from Europe took home $1.5 million each in the Duos finals.

David 'Aqua' Wang, 17, and Emil 'Nyhrox' Bergquis Pedersen, 16, beat 49 other teams in the battle royale competition.

"I'm still in shock, can't believe we actually won yesterday," Nyphrox wrote on Twitter. "Thank you so much for all the support."

Some of the highest-profile Fortnite players had failed to qualify for the Solos or Duos finals, with the most notable absentee being Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins.

With over 22 million YouTube subscribers, the celebrity gamer was unable to make it through the 10-week qualifying rounds.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in