The Fortnite World Cup champion, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, says he was swatted live on his Twitch stream on Sunday evening.
Giersdorf was streaming Fortnite with friends when he suddenly began talking to somebody else. After talking to his dad on stream and asking, “I got swatted?” he vanished from the game, causing his friends minor grief until he returned. Once coming back on stream, he said that he was swatted, and that officers “came in with guns,” though luckily one of the officers apparently recognized him from around the neighborhood.
Swatting is the dangerous act of falsely reporting a crime with the intent of armed police showing up at the target’s house. In December 2017, a man in Kansas was shot and killed by police due to a swatting incident. The man who called the police in that case was sentenced to 20 years in prison for making fake emergency calls to authorities. Streaming subreddit r/LivestreamFails has since banned swatting clips and discussion from being posted in an attempt to stop encouraging or glorifying the action.
Giersdorf, 16, took first place in the Solos competition of the inaugural Fortnite World Cup in July. Bugha amassed 59 points, with 23 of that coming from eliminations, over the six-round finals played today at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. He took home $3 million as part of his win. Giersdorf quickly became a household name, but has dealt with increased harassment as part of his increased profile.