Fortnite: The Rise Of E-Sports!

Aug 6, 2019 By Samanvitha P, Writer
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Kyle Gierdorf- better known by his gaming handle "Bugha"- is a 16-year-old teenager from Pennsylvania who just became a multi-millionaire.

After winning the Fortnite World Cup, Kyle was crowned "Fortnite's Best Player," and won a grand total of 3 million dollars! 

Later, Kyle spoke of his daily practice routine of six hours and warming up for 30 minutes before matches. Despite his passion for Fortnite, Kyle still finishes all his school work and keeps good grades in school. 

The Fortnite World Cup took place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. Over 40 million people competed in this tournament and over 5 million people tuned in to watch this e-sport event, making this the most-watched event ever! 

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite was released last summer as an "open-world survival game" by the North Carolina based company Epic Games. 

The original Fortnite is now known as "Fortnite: Save The World" where players have to kill zombie-like creatures. The more commonly known, Fortnite: Battle Royale, was released a few months later as a free game with microtransactions. That means that the overall game is free to download and play, but there are in-game purchases like costumes. Because of these microtransactions, Epic Games earns over $300 million a month!

The goal of Battle Royale is to eliminate the most players and be the last person standing in a match. To begin, you are placed on an island with 99 other players with just a pickaxe. In a fight for survival, you need to "loot" weapons and get resources to attack and defend yourself from enemy players. The game can be played solo or as a duo or in small groups. 

The Rise Of E-Sports

Did you know that Fortnite has over 250 million registered players? With its growing popularity, no wonder it has joined the ranks of other e-sports such as League of Legends, Madden NFL, FIFA,  and others.

E-sports refer to competitive multi-player tournaments where players can either play individually or in teams. These games are telecast live through platforms like Twitch and just as in traditional sports, there are e-sport enthusiasts who follow the games and the players. The players earn money through sponsorships, endorsements, and receive salaries from the leagues. These days, even colleges are recognizing e-sports and offer varsity programs. 

E-sports have their downside too. The long hours (8-12 hours) spent playing on a computer can lead to health issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive injury, and back pain. More importantly, video games are addictive and the violence in them can lead to aggressive behaviors or depression. 

For now, the winner of Fortnite -- Kyle Gierdorf, is being very careful in how he spends his money. He says that he will invest it and plan for the future. He may buy a new desk with it first!

Sources: Slate, Verge, Washington Post, CNN, Gamequitters.com