NEW YORK -- Norway's Emil "Nyhrox" Bergquist Pedersen, 16, and Austria's David "aqua" Wang, 17, became the first Fortnite World Cup Finals duo champions, each taking home a grand prize of $1.5 million on Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Over the course of the six-game event, the European pair made a rapid rise up the standings, winning Games 4 and 5 to put them in position to win it all. The pre-tournament favorites, Williams "Zayt" Aubin of Canada and Rocco "Saf" Morales from the United States, were atop the leaderboards for most of the competition before losing their lead in the sixth and final game.
"We knew all it took was one good game to get back into it," Nyhrox said. "After our first win, we said let's get back-to-back victories."
Families streamed into the tennis grounds to partake in the outdoor festivities and watch the duos final inside the tennis stadium, which will host the US Open in a few weeks. Although the lower bowl and upper-deck sections of the 23,000-seat stadium were sparse with fans, Epic Games announced a sellout for the Saturday final.
In the player lounge after the team's life-changing victory, the families of the winning duo converged on the world champions. The newly made millionaires huddled with their team staff, friends and family before taking a lap in the lounge, as they were congratulated by the other 98 competitors in the duos final.
After getting a minute alone from the flurry of attention, the two went to their phones to see the online reaction. Each player had already gained more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
For Aqua, who only turned 17 last week, it was the best birthday present he could ask for.
"It's all right," Aqua said with a laugh, both teenagers still coming to terms with their newfound stardom.
Composure was the prevailing skill of the day. While some of the more well-known duos in the final failed to live up to expectations, it was Nyhrox and Aqua's steely demeanor that carried them to the World Cup win. Some of the younger teams in the event -- 13 being the youngest age in the competition -- overextended themselves in the early games to grab kills. For the top teams like the European winners, they paced themselves in the final three games of the day, using the end-of-game scrum to pick up points.
When asked what the two would be doing with the winnings, neither had grandiose plans for their earnings.
"I'm probably going to save most of it," Nyhrox said. "[But] maybe a new PC?"
"Yeah, maybe a new PC," Aqua agreed.
Even as millionaires, they're still kids.