A teenager from Philadelphia has beaten three Germans to win the top prize of $3 million in the solo finals at the lucrative esports tournament. It was held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, known for hosting the US Open.
US gamer Kyle Giersdorf, alias "Bugha," became the first Fortnite World Cup solo champion on Sunday, winning $3 million (€2.7 million) at the age of 16.
"It's insane," Giersdorf said after winning by nearly double the points of his closest rival. He beat out three German players who were in the running for the top prize.
The Fortnite World Cup, the first of its kind, brought together two hundred gamers from around the world to compete for prize money totaling $30 million in New York.
Each competitor at this year's tournament was guaranteed to win at least $50,000, with the first prize worth $3 million — almost equaling the $3.85 million that will be won by the singles champions at this year's US Open Tennis Championships, held at the same Arthur Ashe Stadium venue.
With more than 250 million users worldwide, Fortnite has one of the largest player bases in the world for a digital game and esport. It is a game in which players are dropped on a virtual island where they have to try to stay alive, in part by eliminating other participants with weapons they pick up in the course of the action.
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Saturday saw the duos final take place, with teams of two competing. German player Fabian "Derox" Real and his teammate Calum "itemm" MacGillivray from Scotland made it into the top 10. The two finished in eighth place out of 50 teams, and split a prize of $375,000.
The first prize went to David "Aqua" W. from Austria and his partner Emil "Nhyrox" Bergquist Pedersen from Norway who will split the $3 million prize.
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At the tournament, participants — most of whom are teenage males — fight it out in the "Battle Royale" format of the game, in which just one survivor is left standing at the end.
It saw major recording artists perform, including American DJ Marshmello and Alison Wonderland.
The event, which included 10 weeks of qualifying rounds, was run by Epic Games and cost $100 million in all to organize.
The global gaming market is expected to have a turnover of $300 billion by 2025, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Fortnite alone made up to $300 million each month for its developers last year.
ls/ap (AFP, dpa)