Teen who won Fortnite World Cup reveals what he's doing with $3M prize

16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf became the first Fortnite World Cup champion on Sunday.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Kyle Giersdorf, 16, beat out 99 of the world's top players to become the inaugural world champion of the Fortnite World Cup.

He was the last man standing from a field that was whittled all the way down from 40 million Fortnite players worldwide.

The Pennsylvania teen, who goes by "Bugha" online, won $3 million, the biggest payday in competitive gaming history, after a four-hour competition at New York City's Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.

"It was honestly surreal, but at the same time I had no emotion because I didn't really understand what was happening," he said on TODAY Tuesday. "It was crazy."

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"I had to ask my sister, 'Am I dreaming? Is this really real?'" his mother, Darci, said on TODAY. "We were so in shock."

Giersdorf, who emerged victorious in front of 10,000 fans, said he plays Fortnite about six hours a day.

The multi-player online gaming phenomenon produced by Epic Games, which is free to play, had almost 250 million players in the spring of 2019. Fortnite features as many as 100 players fighting it out on a virtual island until only one is left.

But even Giersdorf's parents have their limits when it comes to him spending too much time playing video games.

"It's all in moderation,'" his father, Glenn Giersdorf, told Savannah Guthrie. "We always told him that as long as his grades were up, we would support him, and we would try to do what we could. And as soon as the grades would start slipping, which they haven't, thank God, we said that there's consequences to that."

While it's hard to tell a kid who is a millionaire before he even has his driver's license that Fortnite is not the most important thing in the world, his parents have stressed the importance of education.

Giersdorf said he does his academic work during free periods at school and in the hours when he's not playing Fortnite.

"As talented as he is, I've always said, there's a 12-year-old that's coming up that's gonna have the same skill sets and that's gonna be better, and by the time he's 25-30, I don't want him working at a fast-food restaurant," his father said.

Giersdorf also has a pretty good head on his shoulders given what the average 16-year-old might do with a $3 million windfall.

"(I'll) save the money, put it to my future and probably buy a new desk," he revealed to Willie Geist.

As for what's next, Giersdorf kept it simple, "Honestly, I'll probably get back home, get some rest and then start my stream up and play Fortnite again."