Fortnite world champion 'swatted' while streaming on Twitch

Police say the call came from another country.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Fortnite Bugha

Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf holds his trophy after winning the Fortnite World Cup Finals. 

Johannes Eisele / AFP/Getty Images

It's been close to two weeks since 16-year-old Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf won $3 million and the title of best solo Fortnite player at the World Cup Finals in July. The spotlight appears to have gained him plenty of attention -- he was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon -- but not all of it positive. Giersdorf said he was a victim of "swatting" over the weekend. 

On Saturday, while streaming on Twitch , Geirsdorf had his match interrupted by his father telling him police were at his home in Upper Pottsgrove Township, Penn. A clip of the stream shows the moment when the incident happened. 

"I got swatted," Giersdorf said in the clip. His keyboard camera shows that he got up as his teammates were wondering if he left during the match. 

In a second video, Geirsdorf retells what happens and explains why he was lucky. 

"This one officer ... he lives in our neighborhood," he said. "Dude, they come in with guns, bro. That's scary."

The Upper Pottsgrove Township Police Department responded to a caller claiming he was Giersdorf. 

"He was Kyle and said that he shot his father multiple times with an AK-47 and had his mother tied up and bound in the garage," Corporal Albert Werner told USA Today on Monday. 

Police say the call originated from "an overseas area, somewhere out of the country."

Swatting is a form of harassment in which someone calls the local police of the intended victim and claims there's a crime taking place at that person's address. In most cases, the harasser says the target is armed and will harm other individuals within the house. The goal of swatting is to have police charge into the home and subdue the victim. Twitch streamers are often targeted by harassers since the incident can occur during a livestream. 

In 2017, a man swatted another individual over a Call of Duty argument in an incident that left one person dead. The man was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years. 

Giersdorf and the Upper Pottsgrove Township Police Department didn't reply to a request for comment. 

Originally published on Aug. 12.
Update Aug. 13: Adds comment from police. 

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