A packed stadium with thousands of screaming fans isn’t what many people imagine when they think of computer game competitions.
And yet this was the backdrop for the Fortnite World Cup last weekend, which saw the world’s best gamers compete for a share of $30m in New York — the largest prize pot in the history of the fledgling sport.
The professional video gaming industry, known as e-sports, is on course to be worth one billion dollars in 2019 and most of its top ‘athletes’ are in their teenage years.
Sixteen-year-old Kyle Giersdorf —known as Bugha—bagged the $3m (£2.4m) main prize by beating 99 other players to win the Solo Cup.
The payout is more than golfer Tiger Woods made for winning the 2019 Masters Tournament.
London teenager Jaden Ashman, 15, got a cut of $2.25m (£1.8m) for coming second in the duos event with his playing partner. Jaden told the BBC he hopes to buy his mum a house, despite her once throwing away his X-box.
The 15yr old millionaire Fortnite player Jaden Ashman and his mum Lisa Dallman. He came second with his teammate on the duos and will split $2.25m! His mum says accepting him as an e-sports player has been very hard and she’s even thrown out an X-Box in past!! #FortniteWorldCup pic.twitter.com/UCUqGzUOLW
— Joe Tidy (@joetidy) July 27, 2019
And another Brit, 14-year-old Kyle "Mongraal" Jackson from Sidcup, Kent, also walked away with prize money of $375,000 (£308,000).
Top 6 duos top 13 solos, taking home $375,000 total, wasnt a bad result but I wanted better but stayed consistent in both modes, congrats to the winners and I cant wait for future competitions 🔥🔥🎖
— mongraal - 420k earnings (@Mongraal) July 28, 2019
Fortnite, created by US firm Epic Games in 2017, reportedly has around 250 million registered players — and a peak of 78 million monthly players was claimed in August 2018 for its most popular Battle Royale version.
It is free to download, but users can spend money on in-app purchases.
The Fortnite finals saw forty million players whittled down over several weeks to 100 qualifiers who battled it out on giant screens at the Arthur Ashe stadium in New York.
Around 1.3million people watched the finals action live at its peak on streaming service Twitch, the Dexerto esports blog reports.
And, like many things teenagers do, it’s not without controversy.
Prince Harry recently called for the game to be banned earlier this year as he blasted its apparently addictive nature.
Harry said: “It’s created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible”.
But with e-sports growing rapidly and even bigger prize funds planned, expect to see a few more millionaires who can’t legally buy alcohol —or even energy drinks— as young gamers go professional.