No Longer Just A Game...

Imagine back to when you were 16. Did you have one singular hobby, or did you dabble in a few? What if that hobby won you $3 million overnight? This is the reality of a 16-year-old gaming champion who has bagged a fortune from his passion of playing Fortnite…

Before we jump into the details of the Fortnite World Cup, I’m sure a few of you are thinking, ‘what’s the big deal with gaming’? It’s a waste of time… isn’t it? Well according to statistics, the revenue of electronic-sports is predicted to grow 27% during 2019 - bringing the net worth to $1.1 billion. The gaming industry is not playing around!

Eat, sleep, game, repeat. Players are now recognised as a form of athletes as this phenomenon is filling the schedules of millions ‘practising’ their skills for hours on end. E-sport athletes must develop fitness for gaming; endurance is needed to out-play others and quick reaction time is vital for success.

The objective of Fortnite

Being honest with you - I had to divulge myself into research to understand the industry of gaming and the structure of Fortnite. I don’t have any expertise in this field and the one time I have played Fortnite, I lost with not a fighting chance to make a comeback during the 15-minute game. I assume there may be a few reading this who are like me; so I’ve shared a brief summary of my learnings about Fortnite and its 3 gaming modes...

Online video game, Fortnite, has grown exponentially during its two years of existence. Developed by Epic Games and released in 2017, it has now clocked over 250 million users worldwide and carries an overpowering online presence across all social media platforms. The survival game tells the story of a world in which 98% of the human population has disappeared and those that remain are under constant threat from zombies, called “husks,” that descend upon the earth from overhead storms. As a player, you are one of the remaining humans and your task is to complete various objectives such as protecting other survivors from the husks and rebuilding aspects of civilisation.

There are 3 gaming modes you can play:

Fortnite: Save the World: Up to four players compete in a survival game where they fight off zombie-like creatures and defend their prized objects.

Fortnite Battle Royale: A free-to-play mode, where up to 100 gamers battle against one another and external forces, to be the last person standing while the clock ticks to the end of the round.

Fortnite Creative: Players are given complete freedom to create worlds and battle arenas.

Fortnite can be accessed on a variety of platforms including Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.

The Fortnite World Cup

On the 28th of July, the first champion of the Inaugural Fortnite World Cup was presented with a major trophy and a $3 million cheque. The winner was 16-year-old junior high-schooler Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf. “Bugha”, whose nickname was given to him by his grandfather, has been playing the game for 2 years and practises an average of 6 hours per day between the commitments of homework and chores.

40 million competitors played in the preliminary rounds to enter into the Fortnite World Cup - with only 100 gamers making the cut. Despite his odds to win, “the grind paid off,” says the Philadelphia local.

From the results of the game - fame and fortune fell into the hands of this teen overnight yet, he is handling it with humility and grounded responsibility. With the love of the simple life, in a recent interview when Bugha was asked what he will do with the winnings, he responded, “Save money, invest in my future, and buy a new desk”. The post-comp life now consists of Kyle resting, starting his first year of high school, and resuming practise for the next World Cup. The growing social media company, ‘Twitch’, is now the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers, and Kyle’s career focus lies in building his following on this handle and working alongside companies that sponsor his passion.

For those wanting to follow in the steps of Bugha, he encourages gamers to focus on growing in confidence and constant self-analysis. He gives credit to these characteristics that have played into his gaming success.

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