OpTic Gaming had their best showing thus far in the Summer Skirmish Series in the most unique format of the Summer Skirmish tournament to date, with two members placing in the money, and two members falling just shy of the prize pool placing.
Week Five was a duos-based format in which duos would play eight games while trying to amass as many points as possible. Epic implemented a scoring system which heavily favored a kill-based play style, as each kill was worth one point, with overall placement (bar a Victory Royale) having little to no effect on a duo’s score. The twist came in the way Epic implemented two different bonus multipliers: one was awarded for seven-plus eliminations (x2 multiplier), while the other was awarded for a Victory Royale (x3 multiplier). It’s important to note that the multipliers came into effect in the next game, as to ensure that players continued to play aggressively and didn’t just rest on their laurels. This suited one of OpTic’s members down to the ground.
Five months ago, Jack ‘Courage’ Dunlop casted his final Call of Duty event to pursue a full time streaming career; fast-forward to Week Five of the Summer Skirmish and he placed fourth alongside Jacob ‘Hysteria’ Reiser, bagging themselves $45,000 in the process.
Courage’s rise since joining OpTic and becoming a full time streamer has been astronomical, and nothing highlights this quite like his performance in the last tournament. Not only did he place fourth, he also had the joint fifth highest kills out of everyone with 14 (averaging 1.75 per game), as well as being part of the team with the third highest kills across the tournament (27). For anyone that watches Courage’s stream, it’s easy to see why he earned such impressive numbers even when playing against other elite players. His fast and aggressive style comes with many risks, but it also comes with self-evident rewards. Courage, along with his partner Hysteria, managed to maximize the format put on by Epic.
For a player who rarely plays professional scrims, his placement on the big stage means that Courage has firmly cemented himself as a pro in the competitive Fortnite scene.
Courage wasn’t the only success story to come out of Week Five for OpTic. Dade ‘Dramas’ Lesch makes up one quarter of OpTic’s Fortnite team, and when he was asked to team with another player outside of OpTic (Aydan) for the tournament, he jumped at the opportunity and made the most of it. Coming in at 16th, Dramas and his partner secured themselves $3,750, which came on the back of an impressive 20 kills over the tournament.
Due to the way Epic runs the Summer Skirmish tournaments, Dramas had few chances to make a mark on the global competitive scene, but he proved that when he got the chance that he is more than deserving of being there.
And yet, that wasn’t the end to OpTic’s run in the Week Five tournament. Two other members of OpTic’s Fortnite team paired up:, Kenith ‘Baldy’ Anderson and Robert ‘WizKay’ Simone adorned two green skins throughout the tournament as OpTic’s one united duo. In a nail-biting finish, the pair missed out on the prize placements by the slimmest of margins. Tied for 20th place (the final paying placement), Baldy and Wizkay lost out on a tie breaker situation due to another pair having a higher average placing over the course of the 8 games.
The pair should still take a lot of pride in how they played, as they often found themselves in the late game circles causing havoc on the map. They had the 16th best average placing out of every duo in the game, and had they had a bit better RNG in regards to early game loot, then it would have been a different story entirely.
The duo format that Epic has utilized really has been a great watch from a fans point of view, especially with the new spectator tools that they rolled out throughout the weeks. The production is better, and the camera work is becoming cleaner, though it is still something that needs improving as the title grows as an esport.
To help its growth, it would be good if Epic pushed for a organization based week in which players have to play with teammates from their organization. We have yet to see a squad based mode, and by introducing it, Epic has the chance to start creating rivalries and storylines early in the game’s life cycle. The viewership is already incredibly high, but by letting rivalries grow organically they will afford themselves the opportunity to further develop the audience and take another step toward solidifying Fortnite’s competitive status.