If you’ve been paying attention, you already know the past few months have been incredibly exciting for Vanguard. Our incredible team of talented players & their high level performances have already given us stories worth telling--here’s the story so far.
Vanguard launched on November 23, 2019, along with the signing of one of the most talented free agents at the time, Yung Calculator, an undeniable Fortnite prodigy who qualified for the 2019 World Cup & is the FNCS Season X Champion. The core team Kez, Phung, & iKerry, have been playing under the Game Arena banner for the last 8 months. Having just formed & picked up one of Fortnite’s hottest free agents, there were a lot of eyes on Vanguard, especially with FNCS Season 2 Episode 1 set to occur just two weeks later.
The first major Fortnite event following the creation of Vanguard was the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) Chapter 2, Season 1 Finals. Calc, teaming with a trio of TSM players (Zexrow, Mackwood, & Vinny), was playing for his second straight FNCS championship. To do so, he’d have to best Kez’s squad (including UnknownArmy, Stable Ronaldo, & Avery) who also qualified for this season-ending event. Calc’s team led the lobby after the first-of-six games, then hovered around 2nd & 3rd place throughout the next few. Impressively, it was Kez’s team that took & held 1st place during this time. In fact, by the end of game 4, Kez & crew amassed a seemingly insurmountable lead of 23 points over Calc’s 2nd place team.
DeDespite this, Calc’s team zoned in & staged a remarkable game 5 comeback to regain the lead. Going into the final championship-deciding match, Kez’s team now trailed Calc’s by a single point. In the end, with $187,500 on the line, first place was clinched over much of the world’s best Fortnite competition by Kez’s squad, who staged a comeback of their own. With Kez establishing himself among the elite & Calc’s squad taking 2nd place, FNCS S2E1 served as a statement entrance to esports for Vanguard.
On 12.27.19, Vanguard concluded 2019 by branching into its 2nd esport with the signing of professional Super Smash Bros Ultimate player, Colinies. A veteran of the midwest smash scene, Colinies plays both Young Link & Roy at a high level. Just one month after joining the team, Colinies traveled to Oakland, CA to attend Genesis, the 7th installment of the smash community’s flagship tournament series. The event’s double elimination singles bracket drew in nearly 1700 entrants, making it one of the largest & most stacked smash events of all time. Winning his first three matches, Colinies made it to the second round of pools before getting sent to the loser’s bracket by Blacktwins13, Canada’s 5th best player. Now facing elimination, Colinies overcame three more opponents including Indiana’s best player, Mystearica. With that victory, he guaranteed 49th place. This was Colinies’ first top 64 placing at a major smash tournament since Ultimate’s release--we at Vanguard believe it won’t be his last.
Vanguard kicked off 2020 on new year’s day by announcing the signing of legendary Fortnite professional Jaomock. Formerly of FaZe Clan, Jaomock had been known as one of Fortnite’s very best players as it was becoming the world’s fastest growing esport. After a brief hiatus from Fortnite, we welcomed Jaomock to empower his return to competitive play.
Jao’s official return would take place a month later at Fortnite Summer Smash Invitational, hosted at the Australian Open 2020 (AO2020) on February 1st-2nd. This was Fortnite’s second year at Melbourne’s annual Grand Slam event, & this time a Pro-Am bracket for charity was held on day 1.
On day 2 of AO2020, Jaomock entered the main singles event against 89 other pros competing for the $400,000 AUD prize pool. He had a slow start to the main singles event, earning 3 eliminations through the first two-of-six games, putting him at 41st place out of 90 competitors. Jao would start to turn things around in the following game, though, with three more eliminations & placing top 10 in the lobby, rising to 18th place in the overall standings. And with a stellar 4th place performance in game 5, he jumped to 11th place overall. Heading into AO2020’s final match & now within striking distance of top 10, Jao would fall by the end of game 6 to 18th place. Vanguard is proud of Jaomock for already proving he is still capable of competing with the very best the Fortnite community has to offer, & we cannot wait to see what else 2020 has in store for him.
Most recently, Kez had a notable performance in Epic Games’ Fortnite Elite Cup. Competing for a prize pool of $10,000 against 100 top players from across North America & Europe, Kez placed in the money at 7th. With this win, Kez continued his trend of excellence he started by winning FNCS S2E1. We at Vanguard maintain that Kez remains one of Fortnite’s most underrated professionals.
Fun Fact: In an effort to make Justin be the first org owner to win a major Fortnite tournament, KEZ had changed his name to GAVAN JKogge just to troll everyone watching.
Thanks for reading the first installment of this new monthly series on Vanguard happenings. If you enjoyed this, be sure to follow Vanguard on Twitter to stay in the loop for next month’s article, & check out the rest of the content on our site!