Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, a $3 million-winner gaming champion from Pennsylvania, was “swatted” while livestreaming a Fortnite match on Twitch on Saturday night.
Someone pretended to be the 16-year-old Bugha and called the police, claiming he had killed his father and tied his mother up in the garage, TMZ reports. The cops surrounded his home. “I've been swatted,” Bugha said on the livestream, adding, “They came in with guns, bro. They literally pulled up.”
Swatting is a tactic where someone calls 911 and reports a false emergency to get authorities—particularly SWAT—to move on an unsuspecting target.
After arriving, the police called Bugha’s home while outside and talked to his dad, who then came out the front door. Everyone figured out it was a fake claim when one of the officers recognized Bugha.
“That's scary. What if I had just got popped? Jesus Christ, the internet's fucking crazy,” Bugha said on Twitch.
Swatting has become an issue in gaming, and can lead to severe criminal consequences. In March, a 26-year-old man, Tyler Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison after phoning in a false emergency on a rival Call of Duty player, which led to the death of a 28-year-old man in Wichita, Kansas.
Last month, Bugha won $3 mill at the first-ever Fortnite World Cup. “Everything I've done, the grind, it's all paid off,” Giersdorf, who's signed to the Los Angeles-based eSports group Sentinels, said after his win. “It's just insane.”