Fortnite World Cup in New York

The weekend of 26-28 July was a big one for Kyle 'Bugha' Giersdorf (USA) who has become the first Solo player to become Fortnite World Champion

The 16-year-old from Pennsylvania fought off 99 other hopefuls to walk away with the $3 million grand prize.  

Epic Games announced the Fortnite World Cup back in February 2019 and immediately grabbed headlines with its $30 million prize pool. 

Since the start of the qualifiers in April, 40 million people have jumped from the party bus hoping to make it to the World Cup held at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. 

100 Solo players and 50 Duos made the cut for their respective competitions, alongside eight teams of four for the Creative Finals and 50 celebrities and 50 pro gamers partnering up – like Ninja and Marshmello – to win $3 million for their chosen charity.

Fortnite World Cup Arthur Ashe stadium

The $30 million prize pool would be shared across the winners of the two completions. 

The Solo completion was actually the largest e-sports individual tournament prize pool, a total of $15,287,500 (£12,338,400; €13,731,700) up for grabs with even the player in last place receiving $50,000.

The Duo competition launched on 27 July with 50 teams battling it out across six rounds of play. The team which accrued the most points from eliminations and final placings across all six rounds would then be crowned the victor. 

In the end, players Emil 'Nyhrox' Bergquist Pedersen (Norway) and David 'aqua' W. (Austria) took home the $3 million prize with 51 points and two Victory Royales, making them the first Duos players to become Fortnite World Champions

Emil 'Nyhrox' Bergquist Pedersen, left, and David

One very interesting story to come out of the Duo competition was that the second-place team of Dave 'Rojo' Jong (Netherlands) and Jaden 'Wolfiez' Ashman (UK) were competing using standard Xbox One controllers. 

In the very competitive world of e-sports it is generally accepted that mouse and keyboard is the superior input method. The precision from using a mouse for aiming being far greater than that of an analogue stick. To compensate, controller players are given a touch of 'aim-assist', which mildly draws the players crosshair towards a target. 

The decision to allow controllers with added aim-assist into the Fortnite World Cup was a controversial one, but in the end Rojo and Wolfiez have been celebrated for doing so well and representing a community of gamers who prefer controllers over mouse and keyboard. 

Kyle Giersdof on his way to winning the Fortnite World Cup

The following day saw the Solo competition take place. After six grueling rounds, Kyle Giersdorf emerged victorious, winning with 59 points, 26 points clear of Harrison 'psalm' Chang (USA) in second place. Bugha took home $3 million in prize money which is also the largest payout for a single player in an e-sports tournament.

With tournaments like Overwatch League, The International (Dota 2) and Fortnite World Cup making strides to deliver sporting experiences on par with the FIFA World Cup and the Superbowl, it’s not surprising that the e-sports economy will top $1 billion for the first time in 2019, according to marketing firm Newzoo.

Kyle 'Bugha' Giersdorf with the Fortnite World Cup

Find out about more incredible gaming achievements in our Records Showcase.