ESTNN investigates Mongraal’s recent struggles in the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS)
Kyle “FaZe Mongraal” Jackson is undoubtedly one of the most iconic Fortnite Battle Royale players in history. Arriving on the scene in July of 2018, Mongraal rose to prominence with his impressive gameplay and infectious personality. His screaming and rage set him apart from others such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Turner “Tfue” Tenney—both of whom were on top of Fortnite at the time. Mongraal became a sensation for his tournament results, which included a double qualification to the $30M USD Fortnite World Cup.
The 17-year-old is a historical talent without question, but his recent results have left a lot to desire, particularly in the FNCS. Today, ESTNN walks back through the last few seasons to see why he’s struggling to find his footing in the European trio scene.
Reason 1: Axe of Champions Hangover
Mongraal experienced a career resurgence of sorts in Chapter 2 - Season 4. At that time, he combined forces with his long-time duo partner Dmitri “Mitr0” Van de Vrie and FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 3 winner Tai “TaySon'' Starčič. This elite European trio had all the makings of a championship team, which came to fruition. With TaySon running point, Mongraal and Mitr0 annihilating the lobby and Stark Industries primarily to themselves, the Axe of Champions was a foregone conclusion.
After claiming victory, Mitr0 and Mongraal split from TaySon and took a step away from Fortnite. Both players invested time in Call of Duty: Warzone, which became the most popular Battle Royale on the market at that time. It’s possible that this FNCS hangover played a significant role in Mongraal’s current competitive standing. Since the Season 4 win, he’s failed to qualify for two straight FNCS Finals despite his best efforts.
Reason 2: Failed Return of MMB
— benjyfishy (@benjyfishy) January 25, 2021
I mentioned earlier that Mongraal and Mitr0 split with TaySon ahead of Chapter 2 - Season 5, and this was a notable turning point. However, many followers were optimistic because, after unsuccessful endeavors with X8, Pate1k and Milan, the long-time duo announced an overdue reunion with Benjy “benjyfishy” Fish. The trio, dubbed MMB, dominated Season X unlike any other until recently. The hype seemed warranted, but the MMB reunion fizzled out relatively fast.
The days of Benjy, Mongraal and Mitr0 running through lobbies were long over, much to fans’ disappointment. Eventually, MMB split, with Mongraal and Mitr0 remaining together and Benjy turning to Matsoe and Umplify. Things continued to decline for the once-dominant tandem.
Reason 3: Mongraal/Mitr0 Sticking Together
lf 1 w mongraal no cap dm
— Liquid mitr0 (@mitr0) February 16, 2021
MMB breaking up left Mongraal and Mitr0 with limited options. They turned to IboooHai, Freemok and Milan once again in Seasons 5 and 6. None of those combinations worked out, and many questioned whether Mitr0 and Mongraal just weren’t meshing anymore. While we may never know the exact dynamic between the two, Mitr0 and Mongraal are aggressive players in nature. The pair was way ahead of the game in Chapter 1, but more talents ascended and the European talent gap narrowed.
Mongraal and Mitr0 called it quits to conclude Season 6, where the two once again failed to qualify for the FNCS Finals. It was perhaps the career low point for Mongraal, but Season 7 represented an opportunity to turn things around. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen from a trio standpoint.
Reason 4: Rise of European Talents
FNCS CHAMPIONS LETS GOOO ($300,000) pic.twitter.com/Tg6048C806
— GUILD Hen (@hentvv) March 14, 2021
I’ve mentioned it a few times, but it’s worth highlighting how outstanding the European scene has become since Chapter 2 - Season 2. The first season in the COVID-19 era paved the way for players like Hen, TaySon, JannisZ, Rezon and Vadeal to make a name for themselves. Fast-forward to the present day, and these are the talents atop EU leaderboards. Times are changing, and there is not a more impressive pool of players than across the pond. Naturally, it’d be difficult to remain consistent, given the circumstances.
Reason 5: Consistent Trio Tournaments
I don't understand when I'm actually playing good I don't get a trio this shit is so stupid
— FaZe Mongraal (@Mongraal) July 14, 2021
Perhaps the most challenging part of Mongraal’s current standing is the lack of alternating formats. Epic committed to trios earlier this year, and that’s proven an issue in the long run for the FaZe Clan member. While he did achieve a trio FNCS win, Mongraal’s hiatus from the game left him in a peculiar position. Most of the top players are spoken for and have been competing with the same teammates for multiple seasons.
Apart from Mitr0, Mongraal’s experienced a revolving door of teammates. Now, he’s left to piece together some semblance of a roster that could compete for another championship. Despite his talent, most teams have reached a level of comfort and trust with one another. He also commented in a recent stream that a lot of other players don’t like home. Unfortunately, that situation has left Mongraal scraping for a decent team to practice with and become a viable threat to the region.
Best cash cup i've ever played, regardless of the placement. So happy how i've changed in the past couple months - my work ethic, mentality, attitude and overall personality is so much better than it used to be
(11th $250) pic.twitter.com/qze7f6syAW
— FaZe Mongraal (@Mongraal) July 18, 2021
Talent trumps all else in Fortnite, and Mongraal is unquestionably one of the best of all time. His legacy lives within his World Cup performance, dominance with MMB and FNCS Season 4 victory. It would be mindless to say he can’t reach the same level of success he’s enjoyed for three years. The road is not easy, though. Each day he struggles to find a suitable team for FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 7 adds more pressure to the situation.
Mongraal’s passion for competitive Fortnite seems to be back where it was in 2018 and 2019. The perfect evidence of that is his 11th place Solo Cash Cup finish in the first Solo Cash Cup of Chapter 2 - Season 7. Hopefully, Mongraal can channel that energy and find a team with only two weeks remaining until the first FNCS Season 7 qualifier.
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