Fresh off a $3 million first-place finish at the inaugural Fortnite World Cup Finals, 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf stopped by The Tonight Show to talk about his win with Jimmy Fallon. Despite his newfound fame, the teenager comes off as charming and humble, taking Fallon through his daily routine of Fortnite practice. Bugha also reveals the origins of his handle — it was a childhood nickname from his grandfather — and Fallon gets a chance to confirm that the Battle Bus trophy is, indeed, quite heavy.
Of course, it’s fairly normal for athletes to celebrate major wins on the talk show circuit — last year, Alexander Ovechkin and Braden Holtby stopped by The Tonight Show with the Stanley Cup, for instance — but it’s still relatively new ground for e-sports. Despite giant prize pools and large viewership numbers online, competitive gaming still struggles to gain mainstream acceptance. With the global popularity of Fortnite and the scale of the World Cup Finals — it took place in a 23,000-seat tennis stadium and featured a $30 million prize pool — Epic’s recent tournament was arguably the largest competitive gaming competition to date, and it has subsequently made plenty of headlines.
While the World Cup may be over, things aren’t slowing down for the battle royale game. On Thursday, season 10 of Fortnite will kick off, which will include months of content as well as a much-anticipated new competitive format.