After his recent win at the Fortnite World Cup Solos Championship, a more recent Fortnite: Battle Royale session turned frightening for Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf. The 16-year-old member of the Sentinels esports team was livestreaming the game on Twitch recently when he was “swatted,” with armed police showing up at his home apparently due to a false report.
The pro player was streaming Fortnite when the police arrived in the middle of a game. Bugha is interrupted by his father telling him there are armed police at the door, to which he asks, “I got swatted?” This forced the teenager to leave for around 10 minutes before he returns to tell his friends and fellow pros–Ghost Gaming’s Timothy “Bizzle” Miller and FaZe Clan’s Danny “Dubs” Walsh–what happened. “They come in with guns, bro,” he explains. “They literally pulled up, holy s***. That’s scary.”
“Swatting” is a form of criminal harassment whereby a false report is filed with the police in the hopes of dispatching armed officers to a person’s address. The dangerous hoax has gained unfortunate popularity within the gaming community, most notably on streaming platforms where victims like Bugha are targeted.
Fortunately, the World Cup Winner avoided anything serious happening, thanks in some part to one of the attending officers recognising Bugha due to living in the same neighbourhood.
Others haven’t been quite so lucky. A 2017 dispute over Call of Duty led to a “swatting” incident in which a 28-year-old man was shot and killed by police.
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