Short & Sweet: The Aussie Twins Taking Fortnite in Australia By Storm
Created initially as a player-versus-environment co-op survival game, Fortnite became a cult sensation in late September of 2017 with the release of a 100-player “Battle Royale” game mode. Played in third-person, this multiplayer winner-takes-all mode paved the way for a meteoric rise in popularity for Fortnite over the rest of the year and into 2018. Developer Epic Games saw a reported $1 billion revenue from microtransactions as the game expanded beyond what was ever anticipated, attracting upwards of 125 million players across PC, console and mobile systems as of August 2018.
Our story begins on a much smaller scale in Queensland, Australia with Jordan and Jesse Eckley, better known as the x2Twins on Twitch. Streaming Fortnite since early 2018, the twins built their stream from the ground up after spending time travelling after graduation from high school and deciding on their next step in their careers.
“It was while we were travelling that we were deciding on what to do, and we really wanted to stream. We got some help from our family and got a setup and some PCs and we just began the grind together.”
Now approaching 200,000 unique views and over 11,000 followers this year alone, the twins opted to defer university to take advantage of a massive opportunity in esports - to become the best Fortnite team in Australia. But as Jordan explains, things weren’t all smooth sailing early on.
“We’ve been playing pro scrims since at least Season 2 [in late 2017]. From the start we were getting wins together and were seeking an organisation but we were definitely going at it together, and most teams were looking for only one player and not two, so we formed our own team.”
Opting to form their own team, Twinsanity, the twins linked up with Hersh “Hershicals” Notani and Harley “mrfreshasian” Cambpell - the two players they felt suited their criteria to push to become the best Fortnite team in the region, and their decision is already paying off in spades.
Starting as Twinsanity but transitioning into the Renegades in week two, the boys are carving up the weekly iteration of the Oceanic league with 29 matches won, 17 ahead of their closest rivals in Mindfreak and miles still ahead of other top Australian organisations like Dark Sided and Chiefs. While aim is important, Jordan puts it down to communication and confidence.
“I think our biggest quality is our communication - we feel we just communicate far better than other teams. We all know what we all mean with callouts and targets, it’s all just second nature. We’re confident in each other.”
Previously posting a huge 4000 hours taking turns playing CS:GO, the twins adopted a variety of terminology for the team and while structure is always important and roles are somewhat present in the team, much like in CS:GO, the twins believe that initiative goes a long way to grinding out a win during pro scrims.
“It’s a little similar I guess. Asian’s kind of the lurker, we leave him to make a massive flank or something similar. Jesse is the best builder I know, he can build faster than anyone and can get us the high ground, especially towards the end of a match. Hersh is the really reliable third, we can count on him with stuff like utility and to back us up especially at the back end of a match. In the end though it can come down to making it up on the spot, which I think is where our communication really kicks in.”
For now, Fortnite esports is very much in its infancy, even in the more developed regions of Europe and North America, let alone in Oceania. At the end of the day though, to represent their organisation, their country, but most importantly themselves, on the big stage remains the target.
“There’s definitely a lot of money being thrown around but the majority of it is for casual streamers or personalities, there isn’t much in the way of esport events right now, especially not in Australia. I think it’ll need some big organiser for an event, but that might take a while for them to be interested, but watching CS:GO live events, and even last week’s Rainbow Six: Siege major in Paris; to be able to play on a stage like that would be a dream come true.”
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This is the first in a series of short interviews with the Renegades, from players to staff. Stay tuned for more Short & Sweet!
Article & interview by Nicholas “Taffy” Taifalos