Daryl “Bugzvii” John, a 20-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been crowned champion of the inaugural Simon Cup, a national amateur esports competition featuring Fortnite co-produced by Allied Esports and Simon. John emerged victorious at the tournament’s Grand Final at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 23, where he bested a field of 64 Fortnite players from across the country to take home a $50,000 shopping spree at a Simon destination.
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Daryl “Bugzvii” John, 20, of Brooklyn, N.Y., won the inaugural Simon Cup at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas. (Photo: Christopher DeVargas/Allied Esports)
After an early exit and zero points in the first round of the Grand Final, John jumped up the leaderboard with a Victory Royale in round three and then clinched the win with a second-place finish in the fifth and final round. In addition to multiple high placements, he completed the Grand Final with the most points for eliminations.
“I knew I had a chance to win it all in the last game, and I thought let’s go, let’s get this,” said John. “I was confident heading into the Grand Final but beating this group of players is amazing. They’re all really good…there’s no way this is happening right now!”
John earned his trip to Las Vegas through the New York Regional at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, N.Y., where he finished in the 16th and last spot that qualified for the Grand Final.
Following the victory in the Grand Final, John was ushered via limousine to The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, one of four Las Vegas Simon centers, to kick off the ultimate shopping spree. Accompanied by popular gamer and streamer FaZe Cizzorz, his first stop was at Nike, where he spent just over $1,000 on clothes and sneakers.
“There are super talented gamers in every corner of the U.S. and around the world and we are incredibly proud to present a platform like the Simon Cup, where gamers can put their skills on display against top competition,” said Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports. “We congratulate Daryl and the other finalists who advanced to Las Vegas, and we look forward to working with Simon to raise the bar next year.”
“The Simon Cup is a perfect example of the type of innovation that Simon is known for, and we are thrilled that Daryl won the Grand Final and Simon Cup trophy in Las Vegas,” said Mark Silvestri, Simon’s COO for Development. “Simon’s locations around the United States provide the perfect gathering places for these types of game play and we are excited about the opportunities for growth in the future.”
The Simon Cup’s final 64 participants, who ranged in age from 13 to 25 with an average of 16, battled head-to-head in a Fortnite solo custom lobby in front of an audience of more than 500 fans, friends and family members at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas. The Grand Final event, which also featured special appearances by FaZe Clan’s Cizzorz, GwidT and Clipz, was streamed live on the Twitch channels of Fortnite influencers Nickmercs, Symfuhny and HighDistortion, as well as Allied Esports, where a full replay of the event is now available.
Launched as a six-week original esports tournament with qualifying rounds played on Allied Esports’ new proprietary online platform, the Simon Cup started September 30 as thousands of Fortnite fans across the country entered the competition one of two ways: via participation codes received by watching and following the live streams and social channels of select FaZe Clan members, or by picking up a Gold Ticket at 13 participating Simon locations in the New York and Los Angeles areas.
In-person regional finals and gaming festivals were held at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, N.Y., and Ontario Mills in Ontario, Calif., and included appearances by FaZe Clan’s Nate Hill, Kaye and Teeqo, surprise shopping sprees, “last chance” qualifiers, Smash Ultimate tournaments, and additional Fortnite play for prizes and giveaways.
New York Regional winner Alexander Szumski (Sully Wazowski) from Rahway, N.J., California Regional winner Nick Singer (YerMomOnToast) from Ladera Ranch, Calif., and the winner of the open online tournament, Dennis Castro-Betancourt (Denisnotquiet) from Keyport, N.J., each won a $10,000 shopping spree for finishing at the top of their respective region.
For more information about the Simon Cup, follow @AlliedEsports and visit simoncup.com.
About Allied Esports
Named to Fast Company’s 2019 World’s Most Innovative Companies list, Allied Esports is a leading esports entertainment company with a global network of dedicated esports properties designed to serve as competition battlegrounds, content production facilities and community hubs.
Through direct operation or membership via the Allied Esports Property Network, the world’s first esports venue affiliate program, Allied Esports’ properties span North America, Europe, China and Australia, and include the world-renowned HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, its fleet of mobile arenas, the HyperX Esports Trucks, and the HyperX Esports Studio in Hamburg, Germany.
About Allied Esports Entertainment
Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AESE) is a global esports entertainment venture dedicated to providing transformative live experiences, multiplatform content and interactive services to audiences worldwide through its strategic fusion of two powerful entertainment brands: Allied Esports and the World Poker Tour (WPT). Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. was created in August 2019 when Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. completed its business combination with Allied Esports and WPT Enterprises.
Simon is a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and an S&P 100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE: SPG). Our properties across North America, Europe, and Asia provide community gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales. For more information, visit simon.com.
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