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These Kids Make Big Bucks Gaming. Now They're Going for Millions

It's the Fortnite World Cup video game championship, with $30M in total up for grabs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2019 11:15 AM CDT
In this Oct. 6, 2018, photo, a 10-year-old boy plays Fortnite in the basement of his Chicago home.   (AP Photo/Martha Irvine)

(Newser) – If you're a parent who's been plagued with remorse about letting your child zone out in front of the video-game console, perhaps this competition out of New York City will ease your mind. The Fortnite World Cup, held by developer Epic Games, is taking place this weekend at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, and there's $30 million in prizes up for grabs, with one lucky contender poised to take home a $3 million top prize all for himself, the BBC reports. After 10 weeks of online play, 100 solo finalists qualified for the tournament, said to be offering the biggest prize kitty ever in e-sports. The competitors hail from 30 countries, including 70 from the US. The top solo prize is $3 million, and there's also a $3 million duos prize to be split among two people; all the finalists are guaranteed at least $50,000 just for making it this far.

The game isn't just a game for many of these competitors: Many of them are pro, spending most of their day in front of their monitors, rewarded with big paychecks and group sponsorships that assist them with their training and social media, CNN Business reports. "I have grinded and ... put in the time, so ... I know I can win the tournament," one 16-year-old player says, adding he makes about $80,000 a year playing video games; his competition partner is a 14-year-old who says he made $120,000 last year. If you've noticed there've been a lot of "he's" and "hims" in describing the tournament, that's not an accident: There are no female finalists; all of the remaining contenders are boys, most under the age of 16. Wired has tips on how to watch the event, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday. (Read more video games stories.)

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