My career path is a little unconventional compared to most.
While I did start playing video games at a very young age, I didn’t intend to ever take that interest any further than fun.
Most of the time I just played Counter-Strike 1.6 at the local LAN Cafe with my brother, but even then I could take it or leave it. It was really the only time I played games, and we did that for probably ten years. It didn’t even come close to serious.
Those days came to an end when I decided to drop out of college and pursue a dream of mine.
Not gaming, but photography.
I really did drop out of college to become a concert photographer. For a while, I just travelled around the United States going to festivals and concerts to take pictures. I went to anything I could shoot, really.
Unfortunately, it turned out that concerts and festivals weren’t really my scene. And for a concert photographer, that’s kind of a deal-breaker.
When I came home for good, I picked up gaming again as something to do. Overwatch was out at the time and that became my go-to for a while, but eventually, PUBG dropped and everyone started playing.
That was my first attempt at making a career out of the whole gaming thing. I even joined a team, but we didn’t go particularly far. I think I played maybe two or three qualifiers and realized that I didn’t like the game enough to be that competitive. There were too many problems, and I just couldn’t see myself enjoying it.
I’d heard of Fortnite, obviously. The game was getting a lot of attention, but I didn’t actually try it until Season 2. Funnily enough, I hated the game when I first played it.
Going from Counter-Strike and PUBG to a game that’s kind of designed to cater to younger audiences was weird, but the gameplay grew on me.
I had no intention of playing it competitively like PUBG. I enjoyed it casually. It was my friends that mainly wanted me to push in that direction.
My concern at the time was paying the bills.
I wasn’t a known streamer and there weren’t any proper tournaments or anything back then.
So I quit and got a job in insurance.
About two months in I found myself coming home and playing as much Fortnite as possible, not something I had planned on.
Enzo and Bizzle had even asked me to join their team. I said no, initially, because I could only get on late in the evening – I was commuting for four hours a day.
I suppose they really wanted me because eventually, we worked out a system where we’d start scrims as soon as I got home from work. Usually, that ended up being 7 PM to 1 AM.
It was pretty unsustainable. I don’t know what I was expecting, but four or five hours of sleep each night wasn’t working for me.
Then, out of nowhere, Epic Games announced a $100 million prize pool for the upcoming season.
Talk about motivating.
Before we knew it, the rush to sign players had begun, and we found ourselves as part of Ghost Gaming.
The pay wasn’t incredible at first, but my thoughts were more: “I can quit now that there’s an actual prize pool”
So I did. I quit my job before we’d actually competed in or won anything. We spent so long practising as a squad. We were looking really solid.
Then Epic announced that the competitive circuit would be made up of solo and duo events.
Despite the frustration, it didn’t take long for me to find the right duo partner. I needed someone who was good at the game, I got along with, and who complimented my playstyle.
Bizzle was just the right guy.
We played a few online events and managed to gather a decent following and a little prize money too. But the big invite came when Epic invited me out to PAX West.
That event was a pretty big eye-opener for me. I had to play on the same day that I flew in, and it did not go well. We messed up our one chance to qualify for the main tournament, and I honestly had to reassess whether or not I could actually make it as a pro.
I put those fears to bed not long after at the Fall Skirmish event. Me and Bizzle got to play together as a duo and we consistently placed in the top three, which is no simple feat in a battle royale.
Secret Skirmish was a little different as an event. I flopped a little in solos but managed to pick up third with Tfue in duos, which was an unbelievably cool experience.
My usual game plan for solos was to fly around in planes, but storm surge was added, meaning you need damage to stay alive. I didn’t account for everyone looking up in the sky for free shots so I was continually getting bombarded. It definitely didn’t go to plan.
The format kind of meant that if you did well in one game, you’re probably in the money. If you play well in two games, you’re in with a chance to win it. There were six matches in total, and I couldn’t make anything happen in any of them. It was one of those events where you just put it behind you as soon as you leave.
During a run of events, I realized that even if I wasn’t playing at the top of my game, I can still be a good support player for Bizzle.
Nowadays, I am never worried that we’re going to play badly. There’s only been one event where I believe we performed badly, and those things happen, but it won’t be the norm.
We are one of the best duos in the world in my opinion. Most people can’t contest us and we know that. We go into every match with confidence.
We didn’t win very much at Katowice, but we placed well in almost every game, and then popped off in the very last game. We delivered when we needed and secured a fourth place finish.
It’s not the best result, but it’s not bad when you’re up against the best teams in the world.
Since then I’ve just been playing in-game events leading up to the Fortnite World Cup. I’ve been practicing a lot, putting in a lot of hours and dedication, and I feel good.
I was so surprised when we found out we could win millions of dollars from a single event. It’s genuinely mind-blowing. It’s like a dream come true.
I’ve been switching up my playstyle and strategy for solos to capitalise on my strong suits and I’m now feeling more comfortable in that game-mode than I ever have before.
I think I’m in pretty good shape at the moment, but no one knows how the tournament will go.
I’ll just give it my best and see what happens.