Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, the 16 year-old who recently became the solo champion of the Fortnite World Cup, was on the receiving end of a ‘swatting’ yesterday while streaming himself playing Fortnite.
For those unfamiliar with the term, swatting is where someone intentionally files a false report in an attempt to mislead the emergency services into sending a response team, specifically one consisting of police officers, to someone else’s address.
Bugha was streaming himself playing Fortnite on Twitch with fellow gamers Timothy ‘Bizzle’ Miller and Danny ‘Dubs’ Walsh. Mid-game, Bugha is interrupted by his father saying that armed police are at the door.
Bugha is then forced to leave the game for around 10 minutes while his teammates keep going. Bizzle and Dubs manage to win the game before realising that Bugha has been swatted. You can watch the clip on Twitch here.
On his return, Bugha says “that’s a new one” and that the police “come in with guns, bro. They literally pulled up.”
Extremely luckily for Bugha, one of the officers dispatched to his house recognised the teenager and the two managed to defuse the situation without incident. Bugha then returned to playing Fortnite, unharmed.
— SEN Bugha (@bugha) August 11, 2019
Swatting can have fatal consequences, however – in 2017, Andrew Finch was fatally shot inside his home by Wichita police after a false police report was filed by Tyler Barriss.
Finch lost his life over a $1.50 bet on Call of Duty: WWII.
The bet originated after Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill fought over friendly fire in an online match in the game, causing them both to lose the match. Their feud escalated over on Twitter, where Viner threatened to swat Gaskill over the loss.
Gaskill provided a fake address, Viner contacted Barriss and gave him the fake address. Barriss filed a fake report with the police, leading to Finch’s death.
It is believed that Finch had nothing to do with the incident – he wasn’t a known gamer and had no association with anyone involved. He was just a victim of a senseless crime.