45mins with 72hrs

September 03 2018

It’s no surprise that Fortnite is now a huge game that’s sweeping the entire world off their feet. With a net worth of more than $8 billion (yes, you read that right. EIGHT. BILLION.), everyone from streamers to casual players to celebrities (We’re looking at you, Drake) have spent hours building forts and dancing away in this Battle Royale shooter from Epic Games.

As the game continues to expand rapidly, the emergence of its professional gaming scene shows that, despite being a relatively new game, it can hang with the giants of esports.

This is where one of the members of Team Liquid’s Fortnite pro roster, Thomas “72hrs” Mulligan comes in. A Fortnite fanatic himself, this dashing and hilarious man has picked up and played this game for more than a thousand hours since its release.

“I like to put all my energy into something and just try to become the best that I can be at it”, says Mulligan. “I’m not really satisfied with my play until I’m one of the best for sure, and I feel like you can always improve in games like Fortnite”.

Much like others, 72hrs started playing Fortnite because of his friends and their recommendations. “I was kinda in a game rut at the time where I wasn’t sure what game to play, so I started playing Fortnite out of it being suggested by everyone I knew.”

Since Fortnite has so much content within its huge map, 72hrs spent a lot of time exploring all of what Epic Games had to offer. Initially, it was just him messing around and experimenting, but afterwards, he realized there was so much more than just out-stairing your opponents. “At first glance, Fortnite building and shooting can already look complicated, but there’s actually a lot more in-depth stuff that can happen in a build fight that I found really interesting”, he says.

If you ever want to find 72hrs in queue, you gotta look for the scythe pickaxe, one of many different weapon skins you can have in game in addition to your character. As for that, his taste depends on his mood. “It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m just practicing, I’ll pick a troll skin. It’s just funny because people recognize you as a certain skin and I feel like I like to make jokes a lot. So, if you see a tomato head man in scrims or moisty merman (basically the default skin dressed up in a weird merman suit), it’s probably me.”

“One of my more serious skins that I use basically looks like Sherlock in this yellow trenchcoat.”

As for dances, he prefers something practical that he can do that would make him recognizable both in-game and out of game. “I’ve been doing the twist. It’s basically the ‘I can’t dance, but here’s my dance’ move. It’s literally just throwing your arms back and forth and looking around like you’re all that. That’s a move I can do in real life as well. It’s in my comfort zone. It’s very achievable.” If you’re ever lost in a crowd and 72hrs needs to find you quickly, just go for the twist and it should be easy-peasy.

Going into Fortnite’s fifth season, he discussed the different map changes, including the addition of the new location, Paradise Palms. “It’s almost like Tilted Towers without as many materials so it’s kinda scary to drop there just because there’s so many angles that you can get shot at.” His spot on the map did not get affected by the season patch, so he’s good to go for the next few weeks.

With new patches come potential new changes for the layout meta. Recently, Epic removed the ability to utilize double shotguns, which hadn’t really changed much of what layouts people choose to have. “RPGs are 100% insane right now for scrims and public matches, along with plunges (plunge grenades).” says Mulligan.

He illustrates further, “If someone has a tommy gun and plunges and they just go up on your wall and another player throws the plunges and another one is spraying at you with a large magazine weapon like a tommy gun, you have to spam build against it. The other player is throwing plunge grenades at you, you can’t edit out and get away. They’ll all just explode and do damage to you through the walls, so it pretty much guarantees your death and there’s not really much you can do about it."

As the game progresses, Mulligan wants to see a grand-prix style format for Fortnite. “I like points for placement. Points for kills would be cool, but it would probably be unrealistic. I don’t know how you could ever force someone to fight over placement unless you made kills worth a lot more."

While grand prix formats are unfamiliar to many, there's a gaming comparison that 72hrs uses to explain the idea. "The way Epic kinda handled the first showdown was similar to Mario Party, where Victory Royales would be like gold stars, and placements would be like gold coins. So in the games you played, if you won, you got a gold star. And in Mario Party, it goes by number of stars and then calculates your coins by placement. Basically, the four teams that won had a gold star and then it went to your coins.”

With Summer Skirmish wrapping up with an enormous $1.5M tournament at PAX, all eyes are on 72hrs and the rest of Liquid. After the qualifying rounds, it looks like all of Fortnite will have to look up at Tom — he's currently #1 on the leaderboards. The final day starts at 11AM PDT, and the boys are ready to build their way to the top.

Writer // Vivian Nguyen

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