eSports

Fortnite: Interview with Two-Time DreamHack Finalist Nakama Fray

We chat with two-time DreamHack finalist, Christian “Fray” Hennig about everything from competing to where he sees Fortnite headed.

Christian “Fray” Hennig is one of a select few professional Fortnite players who competed at both DreamHack Winter and DreamHack Anaheim. Competing out of Germany and the EU region, his career dates back to early 2019, where he participated in several online tournaments before the Fortnite World Cup. Fray’s popularity increased significantly during DreamHack Winter. He placed 21st at the event and streamed his entire run from beginning to end.

Fray also recently embarked on a quest to become a successful full-time streamer and professional player. Coming off a 36th place finish at DreamHack Anaheim, we caught up with Fray to discuss his time at the event, his competitive history as well as some other topics surrounding Fortnite.

Fray on Competitive fortnite

When did you get into competitive Fortnite, and what kept you coming back since the beginning?

I got into competitive Fortnite as soon as I started playing the game, around January 2018. I never stopped because I love the endless skill ceiling of the game, you can always improve.

What was your favorite season thus far for competitive Fortnite? Why?

My favorite season so far is the last season we had, Chapter 2, Season 1. We had separate loot pools for competitive, and they didn’t change anything throughout the season which really allowed everyone to learn the meta and get comfortable. Everything was really balanced.

Give me five items you feel should be in competitive always and five that have no business in competitive.

Should be in competitive: Shotgun, Shield, Harpoon, Floppers, ARs.

Shouldn’t be in competitive: Snipers, Planes, Shockwave Grenades, Minigun, Mythic Weapons.

On DreamHack

Let’s get into DreamHack Anaheim, give us a rundown of your tournament experience and your takeaways.

I had a ton of fun at DreamHack Anaheim. Started off well with a 13th place finish in round 1. The semi finals were really close, I didn’t play that well but managed to place 92nd, which qualified me to the finals. The finals were rough, I got pretty unlucky, but also could’ve played better, I took 36th place.

How did DreamHack Anaheim compare to DreamHack Winter? Did you feel improvement from Sweden to Anaheim?

I definitely improved a lot from Sweden to Anaheim, although I placed worse in Anaheim, I was a way better player. The competition was way harder at Anaheim, a lot more people competed and also a lot of better players.

Did you have any hesitation when you decided to stream the entire event? Does your mentality or focus change at all on stream as opposed to off-stream?

I knew I wanted to stream the event instantly, because I noticed how much it helped me grow when I did it at Sweden. It does not change my focus at all, I ignore the fact that I am streaming and just think about performing the best I can.

Did you run into any issues throughout the event, i.e., missing queues, lag, distractions?

In round 1 someone accidentally turned off my PC while trying to plug in his, which was annoying but It was a mistake. I didn’t miss queues, but the lag in the finals was pretty bad. Other than that I had no issues.

Looking ahead

What adjustments in your gameplay, rotations and load out will you make moving forward?

I will play a bit more aggressive to get the loot I need for endgame, and I won’t be scared to fight anyone.

How do you feel thus far about Chapter 2 Season 2? What do you think the meta will look like in a few months?

I don’t think the meta is very competitive at all currently, the mythic weapons are way too overpowered, and I personally don’t like launch pads for competitive. In Fortnite it is super hard to tell what the meta will look like, but a combination of an aggressive strategy early on, and then a endgame focused strategy will probably always be the best in every meta.

What do you think Fortnite needs to hit the upper-echelon of esports?

Fortnite needs to have way more tournaments, and support organizations in tournaments, allowing their players to wear their normal jerseys, have all their sponsors on it, etc. Skins that have orgs on it would also help a lot.

If Epic Games announced a hypothetical Fortnite World Cup 2, what format and scoring system would you like to see? How many games?

Format: Solos and Trios, Scoring: DreamHack Scoring with a bit more weight on the win, and I’d love to see at least 10 games. The more games, the less RNG is a factor.

What are you hoping to see out of Fortnite over the next five to ten years? Do you think the game has enough of a following to last like League of Legends and CS:GO?

Fortnite needs to have clearer communication between them and their competitive players. We need more tournaments so that we have the drive to compete. I think Fortnite has enough of a following, they just need to have better communication and more tournaments.

the best region?

Do you feel that Europe is the best region in Fortnite? Is there an actual legitimate rivalry between EU and NA?

I think Europe is the best region in Fortnite because of their superior mechanics. They are a lot faster on average than other regions. However, they don’t seem to be the smartest region, I’d say NAE has the smarter players on average. There is no actual legitimate rivalry between the two regions, for most people it is just fun to have that fake rivalry.

Is there anything you’d like to say to fans, your organization, fellow players or the developers?

First of all, thank you to Nakama, my organization for supporting me every single day, my fans for pushing me forward and giving me motivation, and I hope the developers start communicating more with us competitive players to keep the game going!

Check out Fray on Twitter @FrayFn and at twitch.tv/FrayFN.

Image via DreamHack

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