“Fortnite” may have started out as just another video game, but it has turned into a whole lot more for some gamers.
This past weekend, Epic Games’ first Fortnite World Cup tournament took place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, with players competing for their share of $30 million.
The tournament’s second place winner Harrison “Psalm” Chang— who took home a hefty $1.8 million— told Yahoo Finance’s On The Move Monday that “Fortnite” is the new wave.
“It's growing in a way that I've never seen,” Chang, a former professional player of the online battle game “Heroes of the Storm,” stated. “The whole industry, as a whole, has really, really taken off in the past few years...I think, like any sports game, game competitions can be just as intense. It really depends on how into the game you are. But if you're a big fan of the game, you'll experience the same adrenaline when someone's making a play or something like that.”
THERE IS NO FREAKING WAY I JUST MADE 1.8 MILLION....— CLG psalm (@psalm) July 28, 2019
Twitch tracking website Githyp reported that the “Fortnite” finals brought in an estimated 1.3 million concurrent viewers to the steaming website. And according to Forbes, the Arthur Ashe Stadium — which can hold over 23,000 — sold out throughout the weekend. The final day of competition also attracted 9 million views on YouTube.
Chang told Yahoo Finance that playing “Fortnite” is his full-time job. “In a week, I’m probably putting in 60 to 70 hours,” the 24-year-old said, adding that he is considered old in esports. “I’ve really got to put the time in if I [don’t] want to fall behind.”
Chang said he has sponsorships through his partnership with Counter Logic Gaming, a division of Madison Square Garden. How much money gamers earn depends on your brand and following on social media, he said, noting that for some big gamers $1.8 million is very common and not a huge amount of money.
“You can’t compete forever, so you want to establish your brand and make something permanent out of of it,” Chang said, referring to the importance of a social media presence.
So, what is Chang going to do with his winnings? He’s not really sure yet, but he may be seeking out some professional advice soon.
“Everyone's telling me to get financial advisors, a bunch of boring stuff. I don't want to do that, but I probably should,” he said.
Chelsea Lombardo is a production assistant for Yahoo Finance. You can find more of her work here.