I guess my Fortnite career started with an ultimatum.
Counter-strike: Global Offensive was my game of choice. I was still in school and trying to make something happen.
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy Fortnite that much in Season 2, so it wasn’t a problem at first. When Season 3 came out I gave it another shot, and that’s when it clicked.
Eventually, my CS:GO teammates gave me an ultimatum: Focus on CS:GO, or leave the team and play Fortnite.
I’m not sure they expected me to quit CS:GO…but here I am.
The big thing that Fortnite was lacking back then was a competitive scene. I really had to go searching for like-minded players that were looking to be the best. Eventually, I found the “Fortnite EXP” Discord server.
As far as I know, that was the first place to find scrims. People in the server would queue against other people there. It’s actually how I met Enzo and Spookii.
Together, we had a little squad going but we needed a fourth, that’s where Zamas came into the picture.
It didn’t take long for us to move up into a “pro” Discord, and we started representing an organization called “Fable”.
The change in level brought around changes in the team, and we got Dmo in to replace Spookii. Not long after that, we had Ghoul replace Enzo, mainly because we thought his age might be a problem.
Dmo really pushed for Saf to join as well, so after we moved up in the scene again and joined Ghost Gaming, we brought him in.
There weren’t exactly a lot of organizations in the market for us, but Ghost Gaming was more than good enough for me. The salaries back then were pretty low but we were just happy to get event support and the chance to prove ourselves and build a platform.
Shortly after, we discovered that the competitive mode was going to be solo and duo only, no squads.
That was frustrating, but we got on with it and started practicing as duos. As it turned out, Dmo and I are pretty damn good together.
The first time we played competitively was week 5 of the Summer Skirmish. Poach and Vivid were way ahead of us on points, and we were having a pretty terrible tournament.
In the penultimate match it seemed like everything just clicked. We got the win and a 3x multiplier to bring us back into contention, and in the final game we picked up eight kills and enough points to take us into 2nd place.
Not bad for a first time outing.
Before my first LAN appearance at PAX West, I got the chance to play in Twitch RIvals with KittyPlays, which was a pretty cool experience. I think we ended up winning 2/5 games on one of the days we played.
I was feeling pretty good about going to PAX West. It was my first LAN and first time travelling off of the East Coast.
There was supposed to be six games, but thanks to a huge gravity field glitch they added a 7th game to make it fair. I had three points going into it and came out with eight. A win, five kills, and a $25,000 win bonus. Thank you very much.
Initially I knew I’d placed well in the main tournament, but points-wise I was tied with a couple of other players, so I wasn’t exactly sure where.
As it turned out, the 7th game acted like a tie-breaker, and I’d managed to get 2nd place overall.
My first ever LAN, and I walked away with $200,000. It was madness.
I was supposed to go to school the day after I got back, but obviously, that didn’t happen. My parents and I used that day to have a serious discussion about my future.
I wanted to drop out and pursue esports full-time, and my parents understood and let me make the call. So I dropped out, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
The break between Summer Skirmish and Fall Skirmish was intense. I was a full-time player, and I had to make it count. To make sure I could stay at the top of my game, I hit the grind, hard.
It paid off in week 1 of Fall Skirmish when Dmo and I got 2nd and took home $47,000. We could have won, but as long as we were competing amongst the best I didn’t mind.
Week 6 of the Skirmish was what we’d been grinding for though. It was the grand-finals at TwitcCon, Epic Games’ first big two-day event. Dmo and I teamed up again, and won two out of the four qualifying games.
The main tournament really was the best of the best. These were the best players in the world all in one server. That gets to you. You have to play absolutely perfectly because someone else will capitalize if you don’t.
Dmo and I managed to pick up a victory by playing smart and safe in one game. We didn’t get any kills, but a win is a win, and three points were important. It built our confidence for the last couple of games.
Again, in what seems like a pattern for me, we waited for the final game of the event to really go off. I think we had four or five kills and a 2nd place finish, which gave us enough points to make it into the money.
We took home fourth place and $140,000 between us. It’s crazy how much one game changed our entire event, but that’s what it is. We took care of business when the pressure was on the most.
The tournaments kept rolling on though, no time to rest.
I grabbed fourth in Secret Skirmish with TriggySoars – the “Random Duo” event meant I couldn’t play with Dmo. Triggy was fun to play with though, we sort of just clicked.
The solo tournament felt like it was going to be the polar opposite. I was a shambles in the first few games. I decided to change up my style a little and try to avoid the early battles, obviously it wasn’t working, and if I could make it to late-game maybe I could capitalize on some mistakes.
Surprisingly, that plan actually worked.
I didn’t think I had it in me to win back-to-back games at a tournament, but that’s exactly what I did. Game five and six both went my way, and I won the whole event. To say I felt great after that would be an understatement.
I hope I can recreate that form at the World Cup.
There’s kind of a quiet period now in terms of competing, and this is where players fall off. I’m using the time to hit the grind again and make sure I’m at my peak when the time comes.
The competition is going to be incredibly tough, and although I think I’m in with a chance, I’d be happy with a top five. That’s what I’m looking to secure. Anything above that is a bonus. But to even get top five, I need to be at the top of my game.
No matter how hard you prepare, you have to understand that it’s still a battle royale.
Anything can happen.