The $30 million Fortnite World Cup was a spectacular esports experience for fans and players alike. Here’s what it was like to attend

16-year-old Kyle

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16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf won $3 million as a the solo champion of the Fortnite World Cup.
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Epic Games

The Fortnite World Cup was an esports spectacle, transforming New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium into an outrageous festival modeled after the world’s most popular game.

Thousands of fans watched more than 200 players compete for $30 million in prize money provided by “Fortnite” creator Epic Games during the three-day event from July 26 to July 28. The weekend included a special performance by EDM artist Marshmello, a charity tournament featuring dozens of celebrities, and a wide array of outdoor games and activities for fans.

Read more: These 8 pro gamers became instant millionaires at the ‘Fortnite’ World Cup this past weekend, and the biggest winner is just 16 years old

By the end of the weekend, the Fortnite World Cup turned eight professional players into millionaires and attracted tens of thousands of viewers on YouTube and Twitch. But attending the Fortnite World Cup in person was an amazing spectacle that will leave an impression on esports fans for years to come. Here’s what it was like to be there:


Thousands of ‘Fortnite’ fans packed into a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium for the Fortnite World Cup.

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Epic Games

The stadium grounds were transformed into a massive fan festival with carnival games, interactive rides, and a game show for attendees.

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Epic Games

Tons of costumed ‘Fortnite’ characters filled the festival, and fans were able to pose with their favorites.

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

Some of the festival activities were pretty intense, like this zip line that let you ride a ‘Fortnite’ glider.

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

A game show at the festival tested the players knowledge of ‘Fortnite’ in exchange for prizes.

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

The baller obstacle course let fans hop into a “zorb,” a ball-shaped vehicle you can ride in ‘Fortnite.’

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

Another event let ‘Fortnite’ fans duke it out on a balance beam in the style of “American Gladiators.”

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

A shooting range featured replica Nerf weapons from ‘Fortnite.’

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

Not everyone was in a rush to try all the activities. Some fans just took their time to enjoy the summer weather before the competition.

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

The inside of Arthur Ashe Stadium was completely transformed for the Fortnite World Cup, too.

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Kevin Webb/Business Insider

Live video of every player was broadcast on huge monitors in the center of the arena, while broadcast announcers followed the action.

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Epic Games

Thousands packed into the stadium to watch the World Cup Finals, and tens of thousands more watched live streams of the event online through YouTube and Twitch.

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Reuters/Dennis Schneidler

The stage included enough PC setups for 100 players to compete at once.

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Epic Games

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the most well-known ‘Fortnite’ player in the world, but he didn’t qualify for the main tournaments. Instead, he played in the Pro-Am and Creative events on Friday.

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Epic Games

Ninja and Marshmello won the 2018 Fortnite Pro-Am tournament in Los Angeles last year, and they teamed up again at the Fortnite World Cup.

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Epic Games

‘Fortnite’ pro Airwaks and EDM artist RL Grimes managed to defend their 2019 Pro-Am tournament win with another stellar performance at the Fortnite World Cup.

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Epic Games

In the Creative Mode tournament, the four players of team Fish Fam managed to rake in $1,345,000 in prize money.

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The team included FaZe Cizzorz, HiimtylerH, Zandッ, and Suezhoo.
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Epic Games

Duos tournament champions Nyhrox and Aqua won $1.5 million each while representing Cooler esports.

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Epic Games

Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, 16, is the first-ever Fortnite World Cup solo champion, earning $3 million.

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Epic Games

He was joined on stage by his family and Epic Games employees to celebrate his win.

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Epic Games

Bugha’s victory ended a fairy-tale weekend for dozens of ‘Fortnite’ players and thousands of fans.

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Epic Games