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July 28, 2019, 9:41 p.m. EDT

Keep playing ‘Fortnite,’ kid: U.S. teen wins $3 million at videogame tournament

‘It’s just insane,’ 16-year-old says after winning the first Fortnite World Cup

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By Mike Murphy

Reuters/USA Today Sports
Kyle Giersdorf, aka Bugha, celebrates his win as the first solo World Champion at the Fortnite World Cup Finals esports event at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.

Sixteen-year-old Kyle Giersdorf — screen name “Bugha” — took home $3 million Sunday after winning the inaugural Fortnite World Cup in New York, the largest-ever prize for a singe player in a videogame tournament.

Take that, nagging parents everywhere!

The Pennsylvania teen crushed his competition at a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium — home of next month’s U.S. Open tennis tournament — to capture the solo division with 59 points, 26 more than his runner-up. About $30 million in prize money was up for grabs at this weekend’s tournament.

“Words can’t even explain it. I’m just so happy,” Giersdorf said in a post-match interview posted on Twitter. “Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off. It’s just insane.”

Giersdorf’s mother, Darcy Giersdorf, told ESPN that he typically plays “Fortnite” eight to 10 hours a day. “This is life-changing for him,” she told ESPN . “He’s been playing videogames since he was 3, so this is his passion. He told us he could do this, he put his mind to it and he did it.”

Read: 5 ways to cash in as ‘e-sports’ becomes more popular than pro football

“Fortnite” is the most financially successful free videogame of all time, earning $2.4 billion in revenue in 2018, according to Nielsen’s SuperData Research .

It’s made by privately held Epic Games Inc., which is backed by Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -2.20%  

Also see: These 9 stocks will win from the esports craze

A report earlier this year from research company NewZoo found global revenue from esports competitions will top $1.1 billion in 2019 , up almost a third over last year, while another NewZoo report found the overall global videogame market — excluding esports — will generate more than $152 billion this year , up 10% from last year.

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