Who Is Kyle Giersdorf? 16-Year-Old Wins First Fortnite World Cup, Takes Home $3 Million Prize

A Pennsylvania teen has walked away with $3 million after winning the solo competition at the inaugural Fortnite World Cup.

The prize awarded to Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf, 16, from Pottsgrove, is the largest payout to a single player in the history of esports. In total, $30 million was shared between the winners of the various events, the BBC reported.

Fortnite—developed by Epic Games—has taken the world by storm since being released in 2017, currently boasting about 250 million registers users.

The most popular of the three available versions, Fortnite Battle Royale, sees 100 players dropped on an island with nothing but a pickaxe in a fight to be the last individual, duo or team standing.

Players can search for new weapons around the map—which gradually shrinks over the course of the round, forcing the gameplay into a smaller and smaller area—or collect items and resources to build structures, such as walls and forts.

The game is free to download but players can spend money within the platform on various items. In 2018, the Battle Royale version alone generated around $2.4 billion in revenue for Epic, according to SuperData Research.

The World Cup final took place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City—home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament—with thousands of fans in attendance and more than a million watching via streaming services such as Twitch.

Qualification for the World Cup saw around 40 million players from across the world compete over the course of 10 weeks for a spot at the finals, according to Epic. This pool was eventually whittled down to 100 solo players and 50 duos, from a total of 30 nations.

In the solo competition, Giersdorf eventually won with 59 points, comfortably beating his closest rival, who finished on 33 points.

"Words can't really explain it. I'm so happy," Giersdorf told CNN. "Everything I've done in the grind has all paid off and it's just insane."

Twenty-four-year-old Harrison "Psalm" Chang took second place in the solo competition while Epikwhale—who has not disclosed his full name—came in third. They were awarded $1.8 million and $1.2 million respectively.

The winners of the duo competition—a Norwegian-Austrian pair—took home $3 million. The World Cup also featured a competition based on another version of the Fortnite game—known as Creative—where players are given more freedom and are allowed to create the battle maps themselves.

Fortnite World Cup
Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf celebrates winning the Fortnite World Cup at Arthur Ashe Stadium on July 28, 2019 in New York City. Eric Ananmalay/ESPAT Media/Getty Images