16-year-old prodigy Bugha wins $3 million first place prize at Fortnite World Cup—and that’s only part of the prize pool

Last Updated July 6th, 2021

The 2019 Fortnite World Cup wrapped up on Sunday, and if you were surprised to hear that teenagers at the event were winning large sums of money for competing, you may want to take a seat. The largest prize payout at the event was $3 million USD to the winner of the Solos Finals, 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf from Pennsylvania. 

The event included the culmination of several major tournaments. On top of the Solos Finals, there were the Duos Finals, Creative Finals, and Celebrity Pro-Am all over the course of three days (July 26 to 28). Hundreds of thousands of dollars were given away as part of the total prize pool for winners, and a lot of that cash was given out to playerseven younger than Bugha. KING, a 13-year-old player from Argentina, was awarded $900,000 for a fifth place finish, for instance.

The event as a whole boasted a total $30 million prize pool, the largest in esports history so far. That record won’t last long, though, as the prize pool for the 2019 Dota International recently surpassed $30 million itself, and that tournament begins in August. 

Bugha’s tournament, the Solos Finals, featured the best players from around the globe. The tournament boasted a staggering 40 million competitors, as Epic Games opened tryouts up to the general public. Competing in the finals were Fortnite icons such as Tfue, snow, Dubs, Psalm, and many more. So not only did Bugha need to top those intimidating players to claim his prize, he also had to wade his way through millions of players through the open qualifier.

Header photo via Eric Ananmalay for ESPAT Media