An American teenager has won more than $4 million after taking out the inaugural Fortnite World Cup over the weekend.

The world championship for the esports game was held at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, the same location as the US Open tennis tournament.

Kyle Giersdorg, 16, known as ‘Bugha’ online, won the solo event at the competition, taking out $US3 million ($4.3 million) in prize money.

The competition had an overall prize pool of $US30 million, making it the biggest ever esports event and a landmark moment for the industry worldwide.

Fortnite is a hugely popular online game developed by Epic Games where 100 players are dropped onto an island. The players then have to find weapons, build things and eliminate others until there is only one remaining.

The game is said to have 200 million players worldwide, and is free to download but there are in-game purchases on offer.

The Fortnite World Cup involved 40 million players around the world trying to qualify for the finals, which were held over the weekend. More than 30 nations were represented with the 200 finalists, with 70 coming from the US, 14 from France and 11 from the UK.

Giersdorg said he planned to put most of his winnings straight into savings.

“All I want is a new desk and maybe a desk for my trophy,” he told BBC News.

“Words can’t really explain it. I’m so happy. Everything I’ve done in the grind has all paid off and it’s just insane.”

Competitors played six matches at the World Cup event, earning points based on where they placed and how many people they eliminated. Giersdorg won the first six matches, and won overall with a huge lead over second place.

The event also included duo matches, with the winners splitting the $US3 million between them.

Everyone who competed at the finals over the weekend received at least $50,000, while at least 1 million people tuned in to live streams of the event.

A 13-year-old from Argentina came in fifth place in the singles competition, and was the only non-American to make the top five. He took home a life-changing US$900,000.