Irish teenager claims $50,000 prize at inaugural Fortnite World Cup

29 Jul 2019

Fortnite on a laptop. Image: burdun/Depositphotos

An Irish teenager at the Fortnite World Cup has placed himself among the top 100 players in the world, winning $50,000 in the process.

A select few teenagers have received considerable windfalls following the finals of the solo event at the inaugural Fortnite World Cup.

The e-sports tournament has been one of the biggest of its kind so far, with thousands of people attending the Arthur Ashe stadium in New York – and millions watching online – to see some of the best players in the world.

As of 2019, Fortnite boasts 250m registered users. In the game, players parachute into a large map that gets smaller over time. Their objective is to find enemy players and take them down until eventually one person – or one squad – is remaining.

Now, 17-year-old Irish teenager Joshua Juliano can say he is one of the top 100 solo players in the world, having finished in 58th place. Playing under the nickname ‘lolb0om’, Juliano finished on 12 points winning himself a prize of $50,000.

‘I believe I can do better’

Speaking to The Irish Times, Juliano said that a disappointing start saw him miss out on a higher place.

“Obviously I’m really hyped I got to participate against the top 100 players in the world but also I’m quite disappointed with how I performed because I believe I can do better,” he said. Sitting his Leaving Cert next year, Juliano said that he is looking to find himself a place on the growing number of e-sports teams that play video games professionally at other major tournaments.

However, he added that he will not be giving up on his education in order to “have a backup” if things don’t work out. In terms of what he plans to do with the prize, Juliano said that he may take his family on a holiday.

Meanwhile, the grand prize winner of the most lucrative e-sports competition in history was 16-year-old American Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, who walked away with a $3m prize.

15-year-old British teenager Jaden Ashman and his Dutch teammate Dave Jong came in second in the duos category, sharing a $2.25m prize. Speaking with the BBC, Ashman said that he had been practising up to eight hours a day in preparation.

Despite still being immensely popular, market analysts have reported that Fortnite revenues have fallen 38pc year on year for its publisher, Epic Games. Despite this, it still made $203m in May alone, making it the highest-grossing game available on the big gaming consoles.

Fortnite on a laptop. Image: burdun/Depositphotos

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic