At the beginning of this month, it was announced that Legacy Esports and The Chiefs Esports Club would be venturing to North America with three Fortnite players, Jahlyn “Jahlyn” Evernden, Chelan “zoreh” Sherman, and Abdullah “Parpy” Khudeish. We were fortunate enough to secure exclusive interviews with all parties involved. Within this article we will break down the partnership and dive into how the players are adapting to their new lifestyle.
Initial announcement and impact
There were few details in the official press release regarding the specifics of the partnership.
However, the impact of the deal was made clear via social media when one of the players, Parpy, tweeting out days later, “the best thing about this trip so far, has been risking it all just to fly over to North America and prove ourselves to top tier players, and that we can compete against them.” He went on to say, “we aren’t going to let this region stop us from reaching our goals.” Parpy finished his post by thanking both Frank “Sangy” Li of The Chiefs and Tim “Carbon” Wendel of Legacy Esports for the opportunity.
It’s been made clear to us now that this partnership was designed to benefit three Fortnite players, by having them compete in a region where competition is at an all-time high, and large prize pools are a consistent occurrence. Jahlyn of Legacy Esports went on to say, “whilst the prize pools and tournaments are a lot more competitive here, we are also able to grow a lot more as players, because we learn so much more here than back home in Oceania.”
Locally, there has been a lot of conversation around the performance of these players, as we have seen them take out first place in the NA East Trio Cash Cup, and then finishing in a respectable sixth place during the finals of the Fortnite Championship Series. It’s been less than a month since their move to North America, and it’s already clear that the partnership has inspired these players to push themselves even further in a competitive environment.
Insight from Legacy Esports’ Head of Esports, Tim Wendel
We were lucky enough to sit down with the Head of Esports for Legacy Esports, Tim Wendel, to talk about his thoughts on this move, and get his opinion on the state of competitive Fortnite in Oceania.
When on the topic of players, he said, “I’m ecstatic that Legacy Esports could give the guys an opportunity to get over there. Having already secured first place during the qualifying weeks of NA East Trio’s for the FCS and then finishing sixth in the grand final, is an awesome effort.”
Tim went on to talk about the state of competitive Fortnite in Oceania and what he thinks is holding the region back from doing similar things. “I think that there are a lot of players in Oceania that could make it overseas,” he said. “but they are held back due to a lack of resources at the individual and organisation level.”
Tim is hopeful that more opportunities like this will happen in the near future. He is also optimistic that all the players currently involved in the partnership will continue to showcase their raw talent to the best of their abilities.
Insight from The Chiefs Esports Club’s CEO, Frank Li
Following our chat with Tim, we talked with Frank Li, Founder and CEO of The Chiefs Esports Club, about how this partnership transpired and got his thoughts on the state of esports across Oceania.
Frank started off our chat by mentioning the opportunity had been on the cards for some time. “We had always been exploring the opportunity to send our boys overseas. Fortnite is a more reasonable option, financially, compared to some of the other titles in this space. The title hosts solos, duos, trios and squads, and it’s common to find players competing together that aren’t necessarily from the same club.”
As it turns out, Legacy Esports were initially planning to send a trio themselves to North America for Season X of the Fortnite Championship Series. Given that they planned to have Parpy on the roster, who plays for The Chiefs Esports Club, it was clear that this partnership was going to be made a reality. “A lot of credit goes to Tim and the guys at Legacy Esports for driving this initiative. They have been really great to work with and are very understanding. Not to mention that for once, it has been a pleasant experience to work collaboratively between clubs,” said Frank.
Frank then went on to give us his take on esports in Oceania. “I think the unfortunate reality is that Oceania, as it currently stands, tends to be a launch pad for players in a variety of esport titles to move onto ‘bigger and better’ things. With overseas competitions comes better prize money, better exposure and top tier competitive skill sets.”
“Fortnite is one of the titles that is much more fluid in terms of cross-regional play, so we wanted to make the most of it now, and for a long time to come,” Frank concluded.
What has been achieved?
It’s been almost a month since the three top Australasian Fortnite players made the move to North America to compete. Two clubs working together like this is an unorthodox way of forming a line-up, so it raises a few questions. What has been achieved in their short time together? And perhaps more importantly, has it been worth it?
Achievements so far:
Despite only being in North America for under a month, it is clear that Australasia has some strong talent competing in the Fortnite space. It would be interesting to see whether these results continued if the players were given more time abroad. Regardless, this line-up will be nothing but proud of their results thus far.
Outside of placements and prize money earned, they have also been strongly focused on creating content and making the most of building their personal brands whilst over in North America. Something that no other player, from any title in Australasia, has thought to do.
Social Media Statistics - 30 Days (per SocialBlade)
Insight from Jahlyn, Zoreh and Parpy
We kicked off our interview with the team by asking Jahlyn what the competitive atmosphere is like compared to Oceania. “We found that it’s a lot harder to practise in North America, as the level of play is that much higher. Although we play our own game, the competition is very difficult during tournaments in comparison to Oceania,” said Jahlyn.
Whilst on the topic of competitive atmosphere, we went on to ask Zoreh of Legacy Esports if he believes international experience is vital to compete at a top level. “I definitely think it’s vital. Players in North America are much more experienced in how to play the later zones and if you make one mistake, your game can be ruined.” Zoreh concluded.
The players went on to tell us that their goals are to win an international event in Fortnite, but to also make a name for themselves as some of the best players in the title. They continued to talk about Legacy Esports’ impact on their life, with Jahlyn saying, “they have given me a massive opportunity to bring my esports career to the next level, and in a personal capacity, they’d be there for me if anything went wrong at home.”
After talking with the Legacy Esports players, we concluded our interview by gaining some insight from Parpy. He kicked off the interview with details on how Fortnite has changed his life, “this is the first game I’ve actually committed be playing professionally and have started making money from. It has opened my career up to more opportunities and has made my parents gain a better understanding of gaming.”
Parpy concluded the interview by explaining the impact that The Chiefs Esports Club has had on his life. “The Chiefs have been the first proper organisation that I have been a part of for gaming. Thanks to their reputation and experience, they have been able to help me open my mind up to more than just gaming, and how I can further my career,” said Parpy.
Since talking with both sides of this partnership, we have come to the conclusion that this won’t be a one-off occurrence for them. It seems that both Legacy Esports and The Chiefs Esports Club will be looking to create more opportunities like this, whether it be with each other or not, and continue to push local players into the international spotlight.
Parpy will soon be competing at TwitchCon 2019 alongside popular Fortnite players, Ttfue and Flyr in the up-coming Twitch Rivals Fortnite Showdown, and they’ll be hoping to take home a piece of the $1,300,000 US prize pool. Be sure to stay connected with Parpy and The Chiefs throughout the event on September 27th.
Written by Ben Scott
Edited by Adam Taylor