Please turn your device

How Online Gaming Turned a Teen into a Millionaire

How many times have you seen kids playing on their parents’ phones, or even owned their own tablets? Countless you say? It’s scary and simultaneously impressive how kids can use technology nowadays. They seem to be literally born with the ability to operate smart devices. This inherent ability is both scary and impressive.

Scary, because if we go back to when we were 3 years old, we were probably in our backyard with our little cousin eating dirt, while both of our moms freaked out. (Fun game, no?)

But now, you see kids at cafeterias with their parents or at restaurants flicking through YouTube videos with her little baby fingers, singing along to the “Peppa Pig” theme song whilst their parents enjoy their coffee.

And the older those kids get, the more they know about technology. The smartphone might not be as impressive anymore to them, so they move on to the Playstation, Xbox, PCs, VRsand other technologies.

Games have evolved so much over the years. Who can forget playing Pokemon on their Game Boy Colour?! But now, you can actually make money off of these “new” games. And we are talking big bucks. Thousands. Millions!

This is exactly what happened to the American 16 year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdork.

Bugha (that’s his in-game name, by the way) became a millionaire (yes, that’s seven digits) on Sunday 28th of July, after winning a whopping $3 million at the first-ever Fortnite world champion solo division.

What’s Fortnite all about anyway?

For those of you who don’t know what Fortnite is, think of it as a digital version of The Hunger Games, but with many dancing victories and no bloodshed. Players’ characters are stranded on an island and are asked to find weapons whilst eliminating other players.

Taking the lead in the first of six games, Bugha scored almost double the points than his opponent (59 to 33), and as a result, he was crowned as the champion of that category.

After the final, the young millionaire stated in an interview at the event at Arthur Ashe

Stadium in Queens, New York: “Words can’t even explain it. I’m just so happy. Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off. It’s just insane.”

Bugha’s aunt, Dawn Seiders told Gadgets 360 “A lot of people think it’s just a game, but he is practising, dedicated, determined. I think he’s the definition of a professional.”

His best friend Colin Bradley told AFP after the final that “He’s one of the smartest players. He knows when to attack, when not to attack, to stay high ground. He’s a strategic player”.

For the three-day tournament, $30 million were given in prize money, leaving every competitor with at least thousands of dollars in earnings. Two other gamers with the user names “Nyhrox” and “aqua” won the duo division leaving the stage with $1.5 million in earnings each! The duo division is when participants compete against each other in teams of two.

This being said, some people will probably have more friends on Monday when they go back to school.

Games such as League of Legends, Dota2 and now Fortnite, have annual competitions where “professional” gamers compete with each other in-game, and the winning player or team get a tremendous amount of money.

Fortnite has had teens and young adults go crazy (in a good way) was released in 2017. Drawing on more than 125 million players in less than a year and earning hundreds of millions of dollars per month, Fortnite has become a cultural phenomenon.

The geniuses behind this awesome game is the company called “Epic Games” and they spent $100 million on this event which was staged for 10 whole weeks in order to complete the qualifying players’ list for the weekend’s tournament.

More than 40 million players participated in the qualifying events for the Fortnite World Cup. The regions are as follows: NA East, NA West, Europe, Brazil, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. From those qualifiers, the field is now down to 50 duos and 100 solo players.

In case you’re not looking at the remaining balance in your bank account with tears in your eyes, by clicking here you can see the list of players and the money they won during the tournament. Forbes also published an interesting article with facts and figures about the Fortnite tournament. 

There are so many games out there to choose from nowadays. Different consoles with different graphics and the majority of these kids know pretty much everything about them. In the meantime, the “older” generation is having trouble understanding new smartphone features. Not us at AXIOS obviously, but other people!

Now, this gives us a year to prepare for the next Fortnite World Cup, and if the odds are in our favour, the summer of 2020 could find us writing blog posts for you from a crystal-clear beach in the Maldives while we sip on our Mojitos. Hopefully