Kyle Giersdorf, who goes by "Bugha," just won the largest prize in e-sports history, taking home the $3 million top prize in the Fortnite World Cup. He's 16-years-old. He also happened to beat the nearest competition by 26 points. If you know nothing about competitive video games, think Tiger Woods winning the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes. 

Only, in this case, some 40 million players competed for a spot in the World Cup. Only 100 made the cut. "Bugha" beat them all.

It happened on one of the world's most famous competitive stages, Arthur Ashe stadium in New York City. 

Why does it matter that a teenager from Montgomery County, PA just won a $3 million in a video game competition? Wait, read that sentence again. Do you really have to ask?

A teenager just won $3 million in a video game competition. Which, by the way, is six times more than Tiger Woods won when he blew out the field in his major championship professional debut at The Masters. 

Things are a little different. Video games are a thing. And they're not just a thing, they're a big thing. In fact, the Fortnite World Cup awarded $30 million in prizes in this tournament along, including $1.8 million for second place, and $1.2 million for third. 

Still, you might be thinking that this doesn't apply to you or your business. That's reasonable. But you're still wrong.

Here's why:

  • Teenagers are making real money playing video games.
  • Influencers are making $100,000 to share posts on Instagram.
  • Podcasters are making thousands of dollars per episode.
  • YouTubers are bringing in over $1 million per year. 
  • There are bloggers making thousands a month writing about their hobby, or food, or what it's like to raise 5 kids on a farm, or in an RV touring the country. Yes, blogs are still a thing.

The point isn't about video games, or blogs. The point is about opportunity. And none of these are what you might traditionally think of as opportunity, and yet they're all people who simply followed their passion until they found a way to make it a career. 

Okay, maybe that's more traditional that we thought.

There are opportunities to do things that didn't exist before, and the smartest entrepreneurs are finding ways to make money in those spaces. 

And yes, all of those gamers, influencers, and YouTubers are absolutely entrepreneurs. They might not appear like what you expect on the surface, and they don't follow the same playbook, but they are most definitely some of the most creative businesspeople out there.

Even if you're not an influencer, or video games aren't your thing, it's still to your benefit to understand what's happening in these spaces. That means pay attention when video game tournaments start paying real money, or brands start paying out for social media posts. 

Because the more you understand, the better the chance you'll recognize the next thing that comes along. Maybe it'll be your thing. 

Published on: Jul 29, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.