It's hard to find a gamer who had a bigger year than Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf.
On Tuesday, Forbes recognized as much, naming the 16-year-old inaugural Fortnite World Cup champion to its 2020 30 Under 30 list for the gaming world.
Bugha wasn't the lone gamer to make the cut this year, as 21-year-old Dominique "SonicFox" McLean, 28-year-old Rumay "Hafu" Wang, 24-year-old Nick "Nick Eh 30" Amyoony and Soleil "Ewok" Wheeler -- all of 14 years old -- also were named to the list.
The 30 Under 30 series, in the words of Forbes, recognizes "600 revolutionaries in 20 industries changing the course -- and the face -- of business and society."
Bugha emerged from a field of 40 million and took down 99 other players at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y., in July to become esports' first solo champion. With it, Bugha took home $3 million and became an instant star, sitting down with the likes of Jimmy Fallon. Signed with Sentinels, Bugha has more than 1.2 million Twitch followers.
SonicFox is one of the most accomplished fighting esports players, winning five championships at Evo and winning Best Esports Player at the 2018 Game Awards. SonicFox also identifies as queer, nonbinary and part of the furry community, with their blue fox head a part of the player's persona. The Team Echo Fox star also donated $10,000 to help pay for an opponent's father's cancer treatment.
Hafu has made a name for herself for seven years with her full-time streaming in games like Hearthstone and League of Legends and building her Twitch following to close to 800,000. This year she was recognized as the No. 1 Teamfight Tactics player and then signed with G2 Esports.
Nick Eh 30 has parlayed his image as a streamer of family-friendly content into a deal in which Twitch signed him away from YouTube, where he was one of the platform's biggest streamers with more than 4.6 million subscribers at the time. He has also partnered with brands including Axe, Amazon Studios and Electronic Arts.
Born deaf, Ewok has a story as fascinating as her game play. The teen has amassed nearly 300,000 Twitch followers as some of the biggest names in Fortnite have hosted her channel. The popularity has helped make her a bit of an icon among deaf and hard-of-hearing gamers around the world, and she has upped her profile by competing this summer in the Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am in Los Angeles.
Forbes 2020 30 Under 30 Games list:
Kezia Adamo, 27 (Programmer, StudioMDHR)
Nick Amyoony, 24 (Professional Gamer, Nick Eh 30)
Brent Batas, 29; Julian Gari, 28 (Cofounders, AutoAttack Games)
Joseph Bentley, 27 (Head of Beyond Entertainment, Logitech)
Justin Britch, 27 (Head of Development, Obsidian Entertainment)
Maxx Burman, 29 (Cofounder, KitBash3d)
Bonnie Burton, 28 (Producer, Bungie)
Rebecca Ford, 29 (Live Operations and Community Director, Digital Extremes)
Lauren Gaba Flanagan, 29 (Cofounder, Theorycraft)
Kyle Giersdorf, 16 (Professional Gamer, Sentinels)
Renee Gittins, 29 (Executive Director, IGDA)
Richard Henkel, 28 (Product Lead, Riot Games)
Kyle Holdwick, 29 (Senior Gameplay Engineer, thatgamecompany)
Mary Kenney, 28 (Writer, Insomniac Games)
Nicole LaPointe Jameson, 25 (CEO, Evil Geniuses)
Keizac Lee, 25 (Partner, Kowloon Nights)
Dominique McLean, 21 (Professional Gamer, Echo Fox)
Shayna Moon, 28 (Associate Producer, Santa Monica Studio)
Spencer Perreault, 29 (Principal Software Engineer, Microsoft)
Stephen Ellis, 28; David Steinberg, 27 (Cofounders, Pipeline)
Jasmine Roberts, 27 (Creative Technologist, Google Creative Lab)
Sam Rosenthal, 28 (Founder, The Game Band)
Ketaki Shriram, 28 (Cofounder, Krikey)
Justin Stander, 26 (Founder, Askiisoft)
James Sun, 24 (Senior Product Manager, Twitch)
Hanako Tjia, 27 (Agent, UTA)
Rumay Wang, 28 (Professional Gamer, G2 Esports)
Soleil Wheeler, 14 (Professional Gamer, Faze Clan)
Carrie Witt, 29 (Art Director, Owlchemy Labs)
Zhenghua Yang, 29 (Founder, Serenity Forge)
--Field Level Media