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From casual gaming to making millions: Inside the fast-growing esports industry

August 12, 2019 / Ryan Browne

Giorgio Calandrelli, 26, used to play the game Fortnite solely for “fun.” That was until his debut competition under a major esports brand last year. The Italian professional gamer, who is known to his fans as “Pow3r,” says he faced numerous setbacks in his opening bid to impress his new team, London-based Fnatic.“If ked up,” he says with candor. An accidental misclick that pulled him out of his game also cost him a match. “The tournament is about consistency and getting the most kills as possible to get in the top 20,” Calandrelli told CNBC. Each move he makes matters. Luckily for Calandrelli, he was afforded a comeback, accruing 20 online kills in a “special challenge” game that won him a lucrative $10,000 prize. Altogether, Fnatic’s Fortnite team managed to bag more than $100,000 over the course of the tournament. And that’s just the tip of a growing iceberg. Fnatic says that prize pools in the first year of a F...