Epic Games’ shockingly successful title, Fortnite, has spawned more than just a new genre in video games. It has given competitive gaming a brand new, mainstream pedestal, leveraged Twitch to become the primary tool to watch your favorite battle royale players live, and has birthed hundreds of competitive gaming careers. In many ways, Epic Games has these competitive players to thank for its success, as they make winning look so easy and worth the insane amount of hours a day of dedication. So, it would be an injustice to not recognize those who have made an immense impact on the battle royale, dominating most of its 350 million player base.
Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf
This is undoubtably the least surprising name on the list. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf swiftly rose to fame when he became the winner of the inaugural Fortnite World Cup in 2019. Although mainly unknown in the Fortnite community at the time, Bugha came into the spotlight during the first match of the World Cup, finishing first place with nine eliminations. Throughout the cup’s duration, Bugha totaled an unimaginable 59 points. To put that into perspective, the second-place finisher ended up with 33 points.
The movie-like story gained him enough attention to even grant him an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, as well as a feature story on ESPN.com. Since, the reigning champion has remained true to form, placing in the top 10 19 times in his 27 tournament entries. At 17, Bugha collected an estimated net worth of over $4 million, along with establishing relationships with other big-name competitors, like Ninja.
Tanner “Tfue” Tenney
Known as the bad boy of the Fortnite competitive scene, Tanner “Tfue” Tenney surely does not allow outside drama to tamper with his battle royale skills. Although Tfue is one of Twitch’s biggest streamers, with more than 8 million followers, his competitive play is what earns him a spot on this list. He has amassed nine tournament wins, but more importantly, his squad made national news when they netted a record-breaking 53 eliminations combined on PC in 2018.
Tfue has since displayed a growing disdain for the game’s constant changes, as he has been choosing to play much more of Call of Duty: Warzone. Although, as a testament to his talent level, he recently returned to Fortnite in April 2020 to land two major tournament victories.
Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson
In all likelihood, most of those following the competitive ranks of Fortnite would state that Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson could certainly be the next to win the Fortnite World Cup. His talents first drew attention on Twitch, when he became a partner with the streaming service at a mere 13 years of age.
Mongraal has been on a hot streak as of late, with 23 top 10 finishes in major tournaments. Last year proved to be his best year yet, with a victory in the Duos competition of the 2019 European Luxe Cup, a sixth-place Duos World Cup finish, as well as placing 13th in the Solos portion of the World Cup. In terms of competitive winnings, he has notched over $550,000 at only 15 years old.
Wiliams “Zayt” Aubin
Possibly the most hard-working of Fortnite players is Williams “Zayt” Aubin. The Canadian NRG eSports juggernaut has competed in over 40 tournaments, with 20 of those placing in the top 10.
Zayt did not hit major waves in the competitive scene until he landed six wins and a fourth-place finish in the World Cup’s Duos portion, all just in 2019. He and his Duos partner, Saf, had many in awe during the World Cup, as they combined for 22 eliminations and a Victory Royale in one of the early stages of the tournament. The two’s most notable victories include the 2019 Katowice Royale, week 3 of the 2018 Summer Skirmish, and they also happened to take home the Scallywag Cup.
Benjy “Benjyfishy” Fish
Another name under the NRG branch that is a major threat to anyone who boots up Fortnite is Benjy “Benjyfishy” Fish. The European gamer is one who is fairly new to the competitive scene, as his first major competition was not until 2019. Although, he has witnessed as much success as those who have been playing much longer.
The teenager has rounded up 10 victories in major tournaments, with over 32 top-10 finishes. Due to his high-level of play, the teen has already become a millionaire. With this in consideration, do not be surprised when the youngster becomes a household name by 2021.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins
Many Fortnite “historians” may not agree here, but Tyler “Ninja” Blevins still deserves consideration when speaking of the greatest players. For one, his resume is much longer than the rest. The 29-year-old has amassed a hefty 7,501 battle royales, with over 131,000 kills, according to fortnitetracker.com. With only a little over $54,000 in winnings, it is understandable why Ninja has decided to forgo tournaments for the foreseeable future to focus on streaming.
The blue-haired legend has collected $30 million in an exclusive deal with Mixer (R.I.P.) and has over 14.5 million followers on Twitch that graciously donate and add to his $20 million net worth. If Ninja does return to the competitive arena, expect millions of fans’ eyes to be glued to their screens, as they hope he can still dominate this new, young, and ambitious wave of talent.