EVANS, Ga. – A local 22-year-old from Evans, Brandon Faraj, also known as “Hornet FN”, took home $50 thousand dollars in the first Fortnite World Cup after competing with his team, Lazarus.
“Winning that much money it’s definitely life changing,” says Brandon Faraj (“Hornet FN”), professional Fortnite Gamer.
Nearly 23,000 Fortnite fans and family crowded the Arthur Ashe Stadium this past weekend in New York. Hornet was one of 50 duos and 100 solo entrants that qualified to compete for $30 million dollars.
“To do what Brandon has done is difficult to say the least. He’s a top 100 player in the world. It’s phenomenal,” says Johnny Wren, Brandon’s Step Father.
This is Hornet’s first year competing professionally, and he tells us the stadium’s atmosphere was unlike any other he has experienced.
“When I got out into the stadium, I saw all the people there…and it was very nerve-racking like definitely not something that I’m use to doing, and it definitely took me out of my comfort zone,” says Hornet.
Overall his team Lazarus won 3.45 million dollars from the World Cup.
Lazarus is now the No.1 ranked Canadian team and top twenty-five team world-wide.
They had to grind it out through a gruesome 10-week process to even qualify. Hornet tells us there were many hours sacrificed.
“8 to 10 hours plus a day just practicing constantly every day for almost a year straight,” says Hornet.
It’s a tough journey, and people don’t see behind the scenes.
“He’s dedicated. He loves it. Everybody says if you love what you do, it’s not work,” says Kristy Wren, Brandon’s Mom.
But Hornet tells us being a professional Fornite Gamer is something he worked hard for to make a reality.
“More work than you think it is. You have to constantly grind and practice to be able to get to that level,” says Brandon Faraj.
Brandon has faced a lot of adversity, but this is the moment he’s dreamed of.
“Everybody was like oh my gosh he’s wasting his life playing video games, and for him to come in and say ‘I qualified, I’m in it!’ it’s like ‘yes you did it!’ *gets emotional*,” says Kristy Wren.
Hornet tells us his next step will be preparing for stadium environments and changing his practice set up to fit game-style.
His team Lazarus will be looking to compete in more epic game tournaments that will be hosting 1 million dollar weekly competitions.
Hornet wanted to congratulate Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf for winning the 2019 Fortnite World Cup.