SALT LAKE CITY — Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf won the “Fortnite” World Cup last month, securing a bag of $3 million in the process.
But he’s making headlines this week for something less celebratory. The video game star revealed during a stream on Sunday that he had been “swatted” — a term that refers to when someone reports an emergency to their rival’s home so that police or SWAT arrive on scene and distract the person who lives at the location.
Giersdorf returned to his stream and explained what happened. He said one of the officers who visited his home recognized him since they lived in the same neighborhood, according to NBC News.
The officer, Cpl. Albert Werner, told ESPN that the department got a call from someone pretending to be Giersdorf. The caller, again posing as Giersdorf, reportedly said that he had killed his father after multiple shots and that he had tied his mother inside of a garage, according to ESPN.
Police hurried there to surround the home. Giersdorf’s father came outside almost immediately.
The entire incident lasted about an hour.
It’s unclear who decided to pull the swatting prank on Giersdorf.
“A male came to the front door,” Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston told the Wichita Eagle. “As he came to the front door, one of our officers discharged his weapon.”
But the online gaming community said the prank doesn’t reflect the community as a whole.
“We very much look at it as a bad thing that happened to a community, and even worse an innocent bystander who isn’t even a gamer,” Ramsey Jamoul, CEO at Wichita eSports, which hosts semiprofessional video game tournaments, told Kansas.com. “I definitely think as a whole we’re pretty disheartened.”