‘They came in with guns’: Fortnite world champion Bugha ‘swatted’ during livestream | Sport



Barely two weeks after winning $3m at the Fortnite World Cup, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf was “swatted” in the middle of a livestreaming session.

The 16-year-old was broadcasting to his legion of fans on streaming platform Twitch as he played Fortnite with friends when the incident occurred. Swatting involves a hoax call to the police in the hope of armed officers descending on someone’s home. The practice has led to the death of at least one person in recent years: in 2017 Andrew Finch was shot and killed by armed police responding to a fake hostage report at his home. A Los Angeles man was later sentenced to 20 years in prison for the hoax call. He had been angry after losing an online game of Call of Duty to Finch, a 28-year-old father of two.

On Saturday night, Giersdorf could be heard saying “I’ve been swatted” on his stream, before leaving for 10 minutes. “Well that’s a new one,” Bugha said when he returned. “They came in with guns, bro. They literally pulled up … That’s scary … The internet’s fucking crazy.”

What is Fortnite: Battle Royale

In short, it’s a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out of a flying bus on to a small island and then fight until only one is left. Hidden around are weapons and traps, and players must arm themselves while exploring.

When was it released?

Fortnite started in July 2017 as a four-player cooperative survival game, but the game’s developer, Epic, noticed the huge success of PC title PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which pits 100 players against each other, and decided to release a new version.

How much does it cost?

The game is free and players are able to unlock new items as they progress without paying anything. A Premium Battle Pass gives access to exclusive clothing and items.

Why is it so popular with kids?

It’s free, it’s fun, and it has a very silly, offbeat sense of humour. While PUBG has a serious, realistic visual style, Fortnite: Battle Royale has very bright, almost cartoon-like graphics, as well as loads of ridiculous items and costumes, such as space suits and dinosaur outfits. Players can pull a variety of dance moves, and team up with a friend to compete as a duo or a squad. Participants can chat as they play using headsets and microphones.

Is there violence? And is it addictive?

Although Fortnite is a multiplayer shooter, it does not depict bloody violence. It takes lots of enjoyable gameplay concepts from more mature shooting games but places them in a non-threatening, non-realistic world. In terms of addictiveness, Fortnite contains nothing that makes it different from other action video games. It’s more that the game contains many different elements – nice visuals, good shooting mechanics, an interesting building component and lots of support and interest from YouTubers – into one package that is free to download.

Police in Upper Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania, told ESPN they had received a call from someone pretending to be Giersdorf. The caller claimed he had killed his father and was holding his mother hostage. Police then surrounded the home but when they called the residence and Giersdorf’s father answered, they deescalated the situation.

Giersdorf became an overnight millionaire when he won July’s Fortnite World Cup, beating 99 other players in front of 16,000 fans in New York, and millions more online. “I’m just so happy. Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off,” he said after his victory.