American teenager Kyle Giersdorf won US$3 million on Sunday in New York after taking the top prize in a tournament for the popular online video game Fortnite, Reuters reports.
Geirsdorf, 16, from Pennsylvania, was one of at least 100 players competing for US$30 million in total prize money, as the booming popularity of video and online games has drawn top-dollar investments and fueled the emerging professional sport, the report said.
Playing under the name “Bugha,” Giersdorf won the solo finals portion of the Fortnite World Cup by scoring 59 points, 26 more than his nearest competitor “psalm,” according to the Fortnite World Cup Leaderboard, posted on the game’s website.
“Words can’t even explain it. I’m just so happy,” Giersdorf said in an interview at the event at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, posted by organizers on Twitter. “Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off. It’s just insane.”
Launched in 2017, Fortnite’s popularity has helped Epic Games reach a US$15-billion-valuation last year. It competes with other games like Electronic Arts’ Apex Legends and Tencent Holdings’ PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Global revenues from esports, or professional video game competitions, is expected to hit US$1.1 billion in 2019, up 27 percent since last year, thanks to ballooning revenues from advertising, sponsorship and media rights.
Overall, the global video and electronic games market, excluding revenues from esports, will generate US$152.1 billion in 2019, up 9.6 percent over last year, according to gaming analytics firm Newzoo.
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