Getting in the game with Bugha

Getting in the game with Bugha

In case you missed it, we just announced an exclusive partnership with your favorite gamer, Fortnite World Cup Champion, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf! Yep, we’re talking about the guy who beat out 40 million players to take home the $3 million prize pool at just 16-years-old. Today, he’s at the top of the rankings and is a two-time Esports Player of the Year. 👑

We know many of you are avid gamers too, but it hasn’t always been the most accessible given the hefty startup costs and intense competition to go pro. That’s exactly why we’ve joined forces with Bugha, to help you get the things you need to play the game you love while enjoying exclusive access to learn from the best.

Without further ado, here’s all the tea from my recent sit down with the esports all-star about how he got started, navigated the sport’s high cost, what it felt like to win big and what teens can expect from the Step x Bugha partnership. 👇

On the record with Fortnite’s World Cup Champion 🎮

Bugha

Alright, first things first (because we’re all dying to know)! What was it like to win the Fortnite World Cup?

So surreal! To this day it’s still a hard experience for me to describe, it took me a while to process what had happened. At the time, I was just focused on playing Fortnite. I’m very competitive but the idea of beating out 40 million people––I mean think about what it would look like if that many people were in a room––it’s so crazy. I guess if anything, I’m just grateful and focused on continuing to become a better player and sharing my knowledge with other teens looking to get into the sport.

Okay, let’s take a few steps back. How did you wind up getting into this sport in the first place?

I mean my dad always jokes that it started when I was a baby before I could even walk, because I loved to hit the buttons on his controller for a game called Battlefield 1942. As I got older, playing video games together just became a thing that my dad and I did. And then, I just started playing casually with friends which evolved into small competitions to see if I was any good and it all kind of went from there.

What would you say are some of the challenges you encountered along the way?

There were plenty. I mean, the gaming equipment is really expensive and I didn’t have thousands of dollars to pay for those things. And then, as I started to play more competitively, finding time to practice while still making time for school and my friends. It was also really complicated trying to figure out how to get my competition winnings because you had to have a bank account or sometimes a PayPal account and things like that where you have to be 18. Between that and paying for gameplay purchases, I was always having to rely on my parents.

Do you have tips you can share with some of our fellow gamers about equipment or things you wish someone had told you when you were first coming up in the sport?

For sure! In terms of equipment, I think having a solid mouse or controller is the most important thing to invest in. It’s what you’ll use the most for mechanics like your aim. I’ve also found it’s helpful to have a set schedule since gaming can span all times of the day and night. I spent a lot of time getting good at playing solos and then also focused on finding a trio that I had chemistry with.

Why Step? It would be great to hear a bit more about why you decided to team up with us.

Quite a few reasons actually. I think our missions are well aligned. Much like how Step wants to help empower teens when it comes to finances, I want to help make gaming more accessible––and together––I think we can accomplish that. I think it’s important for gamers to have independence when it comes to in-game purchases or competition winnings instead of always having to ask their parents. And when I think back to my own experience, I really wish I’d had the tools and education that Step provides before winning the Fortnite World Cup, because it would have helped me feel way more prepared and confident about how I was going to manage my winnings.

Okay, final question. What about the Step x Bugha partnership excites you most?

Well I’m really excited about the #StepUpMap, I think people are going to have fun playing that and using the different areas to practice and hone in on their skills. But I’m also really looking forward to the #StepSundayStreams because I love getting to play with other people, that’s how you become a better competitor and I wish I’d had access to something like that when I was just starting out. At the end of the day, I’m so excited to be working with Step to provide better financial tools and resources to the gaming community through these unique gaming experiences. It’s going to be an awesome year ahead, with tons more to come!

How to get in on the action 👀

If you’re new to Step, sign up with code BUGHA and open your account with $5 courtesy of Step. Then, to access the Fortnite #StepUpMap, you can grab the island code from our website. Once you’ve played the map, take a screenshot of your results and share it on Instagram or Twitter using #StepUpMap or send us an email at: bugha@step.com. Then, 16 lucky players (and their trio) will be selected for each of the six bi-monthly streams, enabling them to face off with Bugha for a chance to win $5,000. Tune into the #StepSundayStreams on Twitch to watch all the action. Additional terms, conditions and competition dates will be released soon. Read more here: http://www.step.com/policies/bugha-stepupmap-rules.