Local teen wins international Fortnite contest, splits $1 million with gaming partner 

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) – A Round Rock teenager and his gaming partner won an international Fortnite competition in Denmark on Sunday, snagging $1 million in prize money. 

Cooper Smith, 16, competed with his 19-year-old partner from Michigan, Matthew “Mero” Faitel, in the Fortnite Champion Series 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark, from Oct. 13 through Oct. 15, beating out dozens of the best Fortnite players from all over the world. 

“I put in a lot of preparation. I mean, I was playing like six to eight hours a day [and] watching others,” Smith said. “We did not expect to win at all. Like, we went in this tournament, maybe expecting 15th place, to be honest. And I think we just, you know, came out on top.”

Fortnite came out in 2017 and has quickly become one of the most popular names in esports. The game is a “Battle Royale” concept, which features 100 players on a map fighting to be the last one standing, per an Xbox description.

Smith said it was a long weekend of gaming, beginning with qualifiers on Friday and ending with the finals on Sunday. 

“I was playing all day,” Smith said. 

And though this is the largest competition he’s won, Smith is no novice. He has already accumulated over 22,000 followers on Twitch, a streaming platform where viewers can watch players play esports, and won other Fortnite competitions.

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