How many times did you hear words like “You’re wasting your life playing games all day” from delusional parents when growing up? We certainly hope that the folks of newly-crowned Fortnite champ Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf have been more supportive.
After destroying opposition through six rounds, the 16-year-old has just taken out the Fortnite World Cup in New York City – and has taken home a cheque for a whopperous US$3 million for his efforts. That’s about, umm, 50 gazillion Australian dollars at today’s exchange rate*.
It just goes to underline how video games have gone beyond a supposedly spotty, daylight-shunning geek pastime to become not only a mainstream entertainment pursuit, but also a potentially lucrative one. How many can say that they made a cool $3 million in one day doing anything? To think, we prioritised writing over our gaming – d’oh!
While it takes incredibly hard work, skill, determination and dedication to achieve this sort of level of ability, the same can be said for many more traditionally accepted pastimes. Parents, it’s time to wake up – your kid’s gaming pursuits could set your retirement up in style!
Kyle wasn’t the only one to go home somewhat richer, with each of the 100 competitors – the cream of the world’s Fortnite players – guaranteed to pocket anywhere from US$50,000 to overUS$1 million from a US$30 million prize pool. Yes, you read that correctly – esports is big. This sort of money is equivalent to that offered up in many of your old school, sweat-inducing sports… and golf.
So, if you have a child who’s professed a desire to become an elite esportsperson, a bit of encouragement may not go astray. To truly compete at the top they have an even smaller window than most tradiitonal sportspeople, as reflexes begin to decline usually in the mid 20s… Gulp.
If you wish to explore the world of esports more, your perfect opportunity is the upcoming Melbourne Esports Open on the weekend of August 31 and September 1. Grab more details here, and enter our comp to win flights, accommodation and premium tickets to MEO here.
* Well, almost A$4.5 million