Three days before TwitchCon, I received an application to compete in the “2018 Fortnite Streamvitational.” Fifty players were to be randomly selected out of 70,000 TwitchCon attendees, and I saw that players were competing for cash prizes totaling $750,000. I laughed at the thought that I would win anything in the tournament, but I applied anyway.
On my flight to San Francisco, I received an update from the hosts of the tournament. My application was selected! Woo! Too bad I don’t know how to play Fortnite. Oh, well. This is business trip. I don’t have time to think about video games anyway.
I woke up the morning of the tournament mildly excited. I didn’t expect much. I made it to the convention center about an hour later and was directed to a private “pro” entrance. I’m certainly not a pro, but those on line with me were. Some wore custom gaming gloves. Others had jerseys with their sponsors listed the back. I saw sponsors by Geico, Chipotle, and even Amazon among others. I was a fish out of water. How could I compete?
It was time to meet our partners. I didn’t even know I was playing with a partner, but mine greeted me with a smile. He introduced himself simply as “Myth.” He asked if I’ve ever heard of him, and I said that I hadn’t, which didn’t seem to bother him. As soon as I had a moment alone, I looked him up.
Wait a second. 4.5 million followers? Over 3,000 games won??? Next, I googled “top Fortnite players in the world.” HE WAS LISTED FIRST!!! How did it happen that I was paired up with this eSports superstar? My luck was through the roof. Little did I know I would only get luckier.
Our match was about to begin. Myth and I had already gone over our game plan three times. Our chemistry was incredible, and was fueled by the energy in the room. Fans all around were cheering for him; cheering for us! We could not let our excitement get the best of us. We needed to stay composed.
The match began and was immediate chaos. The top players in the world do not make for simple gameplay. Myth and I stuck together and fought our way through the virtual warzone. Players were being eliminated left and right. Everybody wanted that prize money, and everybody played like they meant it.
The atmosphere in the room was overwhelming. Tension flew high as the cheers of fans rang loudly throughout the hall. I’ve never experienced anything like this. To think that a single video game can create this large of a cultural revolution is just incredible. And here I am right in the middle of it. The feeling was divine.
Our game was going surprisingly smooth. About half the players were left. We actually had a chance. That is until we were attacked from all sides by intruding teams. We held our ground for as long as we could, but the fight was too oppressing. Sadly, I was eliminated.
As disheartening as it was, I refused to get upset. The money didn’t matter anymore. I needed to see Myth win! He was my teammate, and I would root for him until the end.
What took place in the rest of the match was nothing short of spectacular. Earlier, Myth had told me he’s been consistently streaming Fortnite for 10 hours a day for over a year. At that moment, the effort of his labor certainly showed. It is incredible that someone can make something as trivial as video game look like art. His fingers flowed masterfully over the keyboard at 10x superhuman speed, eliminating player after player with unwavering composure. The total players left dropped more each second. 50 players left. 40 players left. 30. 20. 10. I could hardly breathe.
It ended up being 3rd place Myth got for us. He was eliminated, and the match ended about 1/10th of a second later. It couldn’t have been closer. Once the match ended, we turned to each other, laughed, and congratulated ourselves. 3rd place in the most competitive gaming tournament in the world is certainly no small achievement. Then an announcer directed all payers to look at their screens to see their prize money. That’s right! We had been so caught up in the excitement that we forgot about our prizes! I looked at my screen and it started flashing bright orange.
Oh my god… does that really say $29,000?… It does! Myth and I looked at each other once more, this time shouting for joy! “How is this happening!?”, I kept asking myself. I’m not a competitive gamer. I’ve never even considered trying. Yet here I am, playing with the most recognizable faces in the eSports industry, and getting third place! I felt so blessed.
The pro players were called for pictures, and the invitees were to be directed to a private room to distribute winnings. It was time for me and Myth I to say goodbye. I thanked him for playing with me, and he told me he had a blast doing it. Then, we went our separate ways.
Everyone’s been asking me: “How are you going to spend your winnings?”
The answer is super simple.
I have sizeable amount of student loans leftover and this prize money will all be used to cover it.
In the span of one Fortnite game, my life had been changed. I cannot thank Myth enough and for that I will be forever grateful.
This post was written by Jason Raff, BeLive’s Community Manager. Chat with him on our Discord server.
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