The next significant Fortnite LAN tournament is upon us.
Since the Fortnite World Cup back in July of 2019, the competitive fandom has been eagerly awaiting a legitimate LAN competition. The Fortnite Champion Series events are fun and all, but Fortnite Esports severely lacks a presence outside of an online environment. DreamHack Winter 2019 in Sweden offered up a Fortnite tournament of its own on LAN; however, it provided no dedicated stream for fans. With so many talented players across the globe, we will see a full showcase of these individuals this weekend.
After nearly six months with only one notable LAN event, the competitive Fortnite community is gearing up for the second annual Australian Open Summer Smash 2020. We went into detail regarding the prize pool and attendees in a previous article. With a $500K USD prize pool on the line, many of the world’s best players made the journey to Australia with hopes of achieving Fortnite supremacy and the $100K USD grand prize. At this point, we are not clear on the format or how many games the players will participate in. Our previous article highlights all the players attending the competition save for a couple of drop-outs. Let’s take a deeper look at the attendees and storylines heading into the Australian Open Summer Smash 2020.
Ceice and Elevate
Both Davis “Ceice” McClellan and Hayden “Elevate” Krueger of 100 Thieves will be in attendance this week. You may remember Ceice and Elevate’s outstanding performance back in July at the Fortnite World Cup. Their teamwork and clutch players brought them over $1M USD at the event. Both are looking for some solid results in this premier solo event. This rings true, especially after their split at the conclusion of the Chapter 2 Season 2 Fortnite Champion Series.
Williams “Zayt” Aubin of NRG Esports is also competing at the Australian Open. He’s done most of his damage and winning with duo partner, Rocco “Saf” Morales. Zayt’s track record includes a win at the ESL Katowice Royale in 2019 as well as a fourth-place finish at the Fortnite World Cup in duos. As a solo, Zayt finished in a respectable 36th place at the aforementioned World Cup as well. He’s hoping to add yet another impressive LAN result to his resumè.
Ghost Gaming’s Rocco “Saf” Morales is yet another outstanding player who recently moved from the NA East region to NA West. As mentioned before, Saf is a long-time duo partner of Zayt, and the two have accomplished a lot in their Fortnite careers. Saf’s last three Cash Cups resulted in a third, ninth and fifth-place finish. The solo competitive grind is clearly paying off for the Saf and he’s trending up heading into the Summer Smash tournament.
Team SoloMid’s Anthony “ZexRow” Colandro is making his return to LAN for the first time since DreamHack Winter in Sweden. At that event, ZexRow famously fell just short of qualifying for Grand Finals by only three points. The TSM veteran is not primarily a solo player but has some decent results in Solo Cash Cups. ZexRow does have a 22nd place finish in solos at the ESL Katowice Royale event. This is an excellent opportunity for ZexRow to achieve more desirable solo results.
Shane “EpikWhale” Cotton competes under the NRG Esports banner similar to Zayt and Benjyfishy. This NA West competitor is one of the absolute best in the world at solos. Evidence of this exists in the form of his third-place finish at the Fortnite World Cup back in July of 2019. However, this is a new version of Fortnite, and EpikWhale continues to dominate to this day. His Solo Cash Cup results are outstanding with multiple high finishes, including a win in the most recent Oceania Contender’s Solo Cash Cup. It’s difficult not to see EpikWhale as one of the favorites going into the weekend.
Benjy “benjyfishy” Fish is arguably the best player in the current state of Fortnite: Battle Royale. He’s won multiple Solo Cash Cups since the Fortnite World Cup and continues to dominate the European scene. His last LAN event was DreamHack Winter, where he finished in 11th place. He’s constantly grinding and looking to improve. Benjy competed in the OCE Contender’s Solo Cash Cup after arriving in Australia and took second place. He’s more than ready to claim his first LAN victory.
Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen will be in attendance coming off of his DreamHack Winter performance. He is one-half of the Fortnite World Cup Duo Champions and has some reasonable results in solos. Nyhrox finished in 19th place at DreamHack Winter, but other than that does not have many notable solo performances. The young Norwegian certainly has the pedigree to show up at the Australian Open Summer Smash and turn some heads.
Aqua and Mitr0
couldnt make it to AO bcs of visa issues , gl to everyone playing there ?
— mitr0 (@mitr0) January 30, 2020
couldnt make it to AO bcs of visa issues ?
— COOLER aqua (@aquaa) January 31, 2020
As sad as it is to say, both David “aqua” Wang and Dmitri “mitr0” Van de Vrie have pulled out of the Australian Open Summer Smash competition. Both players experienced Visa issues and, therefore, will not be in attendance.
Most of the Australian Open Summer Smash competitors hail from the Oceania region. Rel and Jynx are two players that stand out in many minds as potential winners of the tournament this weekend. Both players recently signed with the Renegades organization. Fortnite Tracker Power Rankings have Jynx at number 10 and Rel at number 19 for their region. Both players perform particularly well in solos, so this tournament sets up nicely for them.
Last year’s Australian Open Summer Smash Champion, X2Twins Jesse will be in attendance after his impressive showing at this same event in 2019. After achieving three Victory Royales last year, Jesse should be one of the favorites out of Oceania for this weekend’s competition. Other players worth looking out for are Gheez, Link, Gooboz, Eshz and worthy. All of these players possess top-ten Power Ranking positions, according to Fortnite Tracker. It’s also worth noting that the talents of Parpy and Volx will be on display this weekend for the world to see.
CR Ruri and Maufin1x are the two premier players coming out of the Asia region. Their Power Rankings currently sit at second and sixth respectively. Ruri has a solid record of Solo Cash Cups with multiple wins over the last year. Maufin also has performed well in Cash Cups, but neither Ruri nor Maufin has been able to showcase their skills in a LAN environment. This tournament provides a stage for all players to add to their track records.
AO HYPE! The Drop Map is here!
Lots of interesting areas here, and the roster is looking stacked. (Likely to change within the next few days slightly)
What storylines are you looking forward to the most? pic.twitter.com/gB1wyAaKjp
— Rhidax (@rhidax_) January 30, 2020
The picture above from Rhidax on Twitter displays drop positions for all attending players at the Australian Open Summer Smash. It gives a good indication of who will be fighting off of the spawn and potential rotation paths based on the storm circle’s movement throughout each match.
Tune in this Saturday at 9:30 PM Eastern on Saturday, February 1st to catch all of the action at the Australian Open Summer Smash 2020. The stream will go live at https://www.twitch.tv/ausopen.
Photo Credit: Epic Games, COOLER Esports, ESL, 100 Thieves