Eric Ananmalay | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf celebrates winning Fortnite World Cup at Arthur Ashe Stadium on July 28, 2019 in New York City.
As reported by CNBC, “American teenager Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf won $3 million on Sunday in New York after taking the top prize in a tournament for the popular online video game Fortnite. Geirsdorf, 16, from Pennsylvania, was one of at least 100 players competing for $30 million in total prize money, as the booming popularity of video and online games has drawn top-dollar investments and fueled the emerging professional sport.
Global revenues from esports, or professional video game competitions, are estimated to top $1.1 billion in 2019, up 27% since last year. This includes revenues from advertising, sponsorship and media rights.
”Overall, the global video and electronic games market, excluding revenues from esports, will generate $152.1 billion in 2019, up 9.6% over last year, according to a report by gaming analytics firm Newzoo.
Playing under the name “Bugha,” Giersdorf won the solo finals portion of the Fortnite World Cup by scoring 59 points, 26 more than his nearest competitor “psalm,” according to the Fortnite World Cup Leaderboard, posted on the game’s website.
“Words can’t even explain it. I’m just so happy,” Giersdorf said in an interview at the event at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, posted by organizers on Twitter. “Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off. It’s just insane.”
Launched in 2017, Fortnite’s popularity has helped Epic Games reach a $15-billion-valuation last year. It competes with other games like Electronic Arts Inc’s Apex Legends and Tencent Holdings’ PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
What this could mean? $30,000,000 in prize money for a World Cub just playing Fortnite is really hard for those in our industry to comprehend. The $3M 1st Prize was the largest amount ever won by a player in a esports tournament. Esports at $1.1 B is just a tiny sliver (3/4%) of the $152 B of the global video and electronic games industry. Last I heard, the entire amusement game industry is less than $7B.
Well, there is still hope that the Leisure out-of-home entertainment industry (OOH) can make some money with eSports running small tournaments, just like Virtuix and other VR companies are doing.
If you are looking at investing in eSport companies, Tim Seymour, founder and chief investment officer at Seymour Asset Management, says, “If I want to own … arguably the global incubator for gaming and esports, it’s Tencent, ” he said in the same “ETF Edge” interview. “It’s 30% of their revenues. They’re seeing [a compound annual growth rate] of roughly 32%. They own 40% of Epic Games, which is Fortnite.”