If you ever stayed up all night playing computer games to be chastised by your mother the next day, who told you were a complete waste of space then fear no longer. Video games are now officially more than just a game, they are a sport, and a lucrative one at that.
The world cup finals of Fortnite now hold the record for the highest pool prize of any esports game with a total of over $15 million. The games were held in New York with 100 finalists taking part. Every participant received at least $50,000 with the top 21 receiving greater prize money based on their placings. The winner of the tournament went home with an amazing $3 million.
Kyle Giersdorf (nicknamed Bugha), 16 years old, from Pennsylvania, was the eventual winner. Kyle is an avid gamer with a large following on Twitch, a platform where he lives streams his games. While you may think that being an online athlete is one of the safer choices in a sports career you would be wrong.
Kyle is one player who has been a victim of ‘Swatting’. Swatting is where some of your competitors call the police and manage to get an emergency response team to come to your house, thereby disrupting your game. This insane tactic requires a level of mastery of IT that many top gamers would have. While it sounds fun it has already resulted in one death in the past. Kyle was once Swatted while playing a top-level game. He stopped playing the live game for ten minutes, spoke to the police and returned to win the game with his team.
While games were once viewed as a waste of time, they are now a career choice. While the odds of you becoming a top gamer are as likely as you becoming a top soccer player (very low), that is no reason to stop trying and plenty of reason to slam the door on your mother the next time she complains. Just don’t tell her it was our idea.