The Fortnite World Champion seeks to improve financial literacy among American teens in a landmark partnership with Step.

Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf is charting a new path as the face of Fortnite uses his platform to improve financial literacy among American teens. In a partnership with Step, Bugha will work to promote the banking apps' teen secured spending card through several activations.

What is Step and Why is Bugha Involved

Founded by financial industry veterans CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko, Step is exclusively focused on providing teenagers with a modern solution to a common problem. While almost 34% of teens do not have their bank account, financial literacy (how to spend and manage your money wisely) is the most pressing issue for both Bugha and MacDonald.

Most teens start their first job, get their first bank acount, and spend their own money before they turn 18. A lot of people start accruing debt, hurting their credit, and a big part of our ethos and mission is to improve the financial future of the next generation by building products and services for them.

CJ MacDonald Step CEO

In America, only 38% of surveyed teens took a financial literacy class in school, and only 21 states mandate personal finance courses in high school. Step seeks to fix this problem by offering a variety of reporting options to parents and teens on their spending habits, producing educational content, and partnering with influential figures in the space.

For Bugha, this is personal. While the Fortnite star has been busy signing partnerships with brands like Hollister and Chipotle, he is committed to partnering with brands that make gaming accessible.

For me, what it comes down to is partnering with companies that align with my mission to help make gaming accessible to more people and provide the tools and resources for them to succeed. It’s what I love about Sentinels as well and the reason I’m proudly signed with them as my org.


Through this partnership, fans have the opportunity to train with Bugha through custom Fortnite #StepUpMaps on #StepSundayStreams Twitch streams. These contests will feature $5k cash prizes, but the big prize is one gaming scholarship to help the next Bugha chase their dreams.

What gamers might find in the #StepUpMap
What gamers might find in the #StepUpMap

Players will be able to play the #StepUpMap in creative at any time to practice in the "Bugha Mode" style creative map and the Twitch streams will happen bi-monthly. Bugha is bullish on Step's promise to improve teen financial responsibility in games featuring microtransactions like Fortnite.

Whether people realize it or not, we make financial decisions every single day and without being taught about money management, you can easily make some pretty massive mistakes. I think “how” it’s taught is really important as well to make sure it’s not super boring (which the majority of the content out there is). I think it all starts with giving teens more ownership over their money. You can’t learn to be good at managing it if everything is being purchased on your parents’ cards.


Step plans to continue to invest in the esports space because it caters to their prime demographic. No plans have been announced, but MacDonald hinted at more to come next year. Interested fans will be able to use CODE: BUGHA to earn $5 in account credit if they sign up for an account.

What is Next for Bugha

Bugha with Step card
Bugha with Step card

Bugha continues to have a passion for Fortnite (regardless of meta) and plans to keep improving at the game. He remains committed to being a good role model for gamers in the space, especially after his big win in the World Cup.

At the end of the day, I’m an incredibly competitive player, but it’s not only about becoming a competitive gaming icon, it’s also about being able to create new opportunities for the gaming community as a whole, much like those that came before me. I realized very quickly that being the Fortnite World Cup Champion came with a lot of responsibility and I want to be someone that other gamers can look up to.


He plans on partnering with more initiatives that, "provide the tools and resources to help gamers succeed," in the future.

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