×

Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 Draws Over 2 Million Live Viewers

Epic Games’s first Fortnite World Cup Finals pulled in a live-streaming audience of more than 2 million concurrent viewers on Sunday who watched a 16-year-old wunderkind win the $3 million solo grand prize — the largest cash payout for an individual esports champ.

The winner: 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf, aka “Bugha,” a Fortnite player from Pennsylvania who handily defeated the field. The Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 took place at the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium in Queens, N.Y.

On Twitch and YouTube alone, Sunday’s live-stream of the finals of the popular battle-royale game had more than 2 million concurrent sessions, according to esports consultant Rod Breslau, citing the public data from the services. An Epic Games rep said an official viewership tally for the finals was still pending.

“Fortnite is officially a tier 1 esport,” Breslau tweeted Sunday. Still, the Fortnite World Cup Finals did not come close to the biggest esports broadcasts: The summer 2017 international tournament for Valve’s “Dota 2” topped 5 million concurrent viewers, primarily on Twitch.

On Twitter, Giersdorf tweeted after winning the cup, “Today was indeed the day… 🏆.” (Early Monday, his team, The Sentinels, posted a tweet on the account that “Bugha’s phone and social media accounts have been compromised. We are aware of the situation and are working to regain control.”)

“Words can’t really explain it. I’m so happy,” Giersdorf told CNN. “Everything I’ve done in the grind has all paid off and it’s just insane.”

The Fortnite World Cup Finals ran July 26-28 and featured the top 100 solo players and the top 50 duo teams from around the world to compete for a total $30 million prize pool. Every player was guaranteed at least $50,000 in winnings.

In second place in the individual competition was, Harrison “Psalm” Chang, who won $1.8 million, followed by Epikwhale (a top Fortnite player who has remained anonymous) with $1.2 million and Nate “Kreo” Kou, who took home $1.05 million.

On Sunday, Epic Games also shared a teaser of the upcoming season 10 of “Fortnite,” with a tweet apparently showing the return of the island’s Dusty Depot — three warehouses demolished by a comet at the end of season 3. The game developer also announced that there will be a new competitive-play format for season 10, the Fortnite Championship Series.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Netflix Q3 Preview: The Calm Before the Streaming-Wars Storm?

    Wall Street is expecting Netflix to hit or slightly beat subscriber and financial targets when it reports third quarter 2019 results on Wednesday after market close. But then what? Debate among analysts continues to rage about what will happen to Netflix’s market-leading position once it’s facing big new rivals in Disney Plus and Apple TV [...]

  • countdown

    Apple Takes Down Viral 'Countdown' Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead

    An app that can predict the date and time of your death may have been too much for Apple to stomach: The iPhone maker removed a viral app inspired by the upcoming horror movie “Countdown” a few days ago, putting an end to its meteoric rise. Before its removal, “Countdown” had surpassed TikTok, YouTube and [...]

  • daydream view

    Google Ships Pixel 4 Without Daydream VR Support, Stops Selling Daydream Viewer

    Google is effectively phasing out its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform: The company’s latest flagship Pixel 4 flagship phone, which Google unveiled at a press event in New York Tuesday, won’t support Google’s Daydream mobile VR platform anymore, a spokesperson confirmed to Variety. The company will also stop selling the Daydream viewer, but continue to [...]

  • Google Wifi

    The New Google Wifi Ships in Three Colors Because Good-Looking Routers Work Better

    When Google revamped its Wifi router product, it extended the devices reach and doubled their speed, while also adding a full-blown smart speaker with Google Assistant. But the company paid just as much attention to Google Wifi’s design, down to the decision to ship the product in three colors. The surprising reason for this: Google [...]

  • Nest Mini

    Google Introduces New $49 Nest Mini Speaker With On-Board Machine Learning, Stereo Pairing

    Google introduced a revamped version of its entry-level smart speaker at a press event in New York Tuesday: The new $49 Nest Mini speaker effectively replaces its Home Mini predecessor with bigger sound, a built-in machine learning chip for faster responses, ultrasound for proximity detection and the ability to pair 2 speakers for inexpensive stereo [...]

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content