A conversation with Anas: Fortnite pro and $1 million MrBeast tournament winner
Esports.gg spoke with Fortnite pro Anas, who recently won $1 million in the MrBeast tournament. Here’s what he had to say.
Professional Fortnite player, Anas ‘Anas’ El-Abd, has been in the game for quite some time. Although he began playing Fortnite in 2017, Anas ascended the European pro scene in 2019. Since then, he has qualified for the game’s flagship Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) Finals 14 times across four years and 13 seasons.
Anas’ track record speaks for itself, but a recent achievement outside of competitive Fortnite solidified him as one of the best to touch the game. On December 17, 2022, Anas won $1 million in the MrBeast Extreme Survival Challenge tournament.
Esports.gg had the opportunity to speak with Anas following a successful 2022. Here’s what he had to say.
From humble beginnings, Anas’ emergence into competitive gaming and Fortnite
Every esports story has a beginning, and for Anas, his start came at a young age on the PlayStation.
“I got into gaming pretty early, I would say. I was playing PlayStation, Call of Duty, and all those kinds of games,” he said.
From a competitive standpoint, Anas sang the praises of the popular MOBA game League of Legends. “When I started school, my friends introduced me to League of Legends. I liked the game very much and still play it to this day. Been playing it for five years. I got Challenger rank at one point, but now I’m Master/Grand Master.”
For reference, only a small percentage of players have been able to reach Master, Grand Master, and Challenger. Anas had some serious skills before he'd eventually break through in one of the most popular games of all time. He picked up Fortnite Battle Royale in 2017 at the behest of his friends.
“Everyone was playing [Fortnite] at that point. My friends at school told me to download it. We played it all day,” he said. “I played it a bit on console because I didn’t know I could play it on the computer. I didn’t like it on console.”
Millions of players worldwide jumped on the Fortnite bandwagon when it dropped in 2017. However, Anas was among the few with the skill set required to become a professional player. He summarized his rise through Fortnite, making it sound much more straightforward than it was.
“I played the game a lot and really liked playing Arena. The tournaments were open, so anyone could compete. I played them, did pretty good, and kept improving. Then, I started making money off of it.”
How does Anas maintain such a high level of play?
Long-term careers in Fortnite are rare due to a variety of factors. For one, the game is constantly evolving. Whether it’s the format, scoring system, tournament structure, or in-game mechanics, Fortnite is never the same for more than a week. Despite the volatility, Anas has remained a top player for nearly four years.
“I practice a lot, play the game, try to keep my mechanics, and stay on top,” he said. “In Fortnite, there are tournaments nearly every day, so that’s a lot of practice. Sometimes, we will play Noble as well. The Cash Cups are more practice. It’s very nice playing all of that going into FNCS.”
Noble X is a Discord server that has revolutionized practice in the European scene. Consistent training and tournaments have helped Anas stay in shape from season to season.
What would he change about Fortnite?
Fortnite image. Image via Epic Games.
It’s no secret that Fortnite is a polarizing game. Anyone who follows the competitive scene knows that professional players rarely shy away from their opinions. We asked Anas if he would change anything in Fortnite to improve the game.
“From a competitive standpoint, it would be nice if [Epic Games] worked with [esports] organizations and stuff, but I don’t think they like doing that. I think it’s nice that LANs are coming back now.”
Furthermore, the multiple-time FNCS Finalist provided insight into the differences between current Fortnite weapons and those of the past. He believes the new red dot scopes are too easy.
“The old Assault Rifles were a lot more skilled than these in Chapter 4. They have red dot scopes, so it’s not really hard to aim and get storm surge damage and stuff like that,” said Anas. “I like the changing meta every season because it keeps the game good.”
No two seasons of Fortnite are the same or even similar, for that matter. A weapon you’ve grown to enjoy and rely upon in one season could be completely gone the next. As a result, the game’s competitive meta changes with every update. Esports.gg asked Anas to provide his ideal meta.
“A meta without mobility items would be pretty nice, no red dots because it’s very unskilled, and the Pump Shotgun.”
Impressive FNCS track record & Gamers8 LAN victory
Only the best of the best have been able to succeed in various FNCS tournaments, and Anas fits into that category. Since 2019, he has reached the Grand Finals 14 times and has managed an average placement of 12th. We brought that statistic to Anas’ attention, but he quickly criticized himself for not winning the big one.
“I’ve been having a good average placement, but I’ve not been able to win the FNCS yet. I have some other wins, but I’m still trying to win an FNCS.”
Although not an FNCS, Anas broke through on the worldwide stage last year at the Gamers8 Fortnite LAN in Saudi Arabia. Players journeyed from all over the globe to compete for a massive prize pool. Ultimately, Anas and his then-duo partner Pinq stunned the world with an incredible victory in the Zero Build competition.
The game mode was relatively new then, but Anas believed his ability to learn and adapt made the difference.
“I don’t think a lot of people practiced for no build. It was pretty new at that point, and there were only squads and trios tournaments. I think it’s a lot about different fundamentals of the game, and I’m very good at that.”
Anas has become infamous for his composure, even after winning a tournament and collecting $125K. Despite his reserved nature, he described when he learned that he and Pinq were the Zero Build winners.
“It’s always nice winning a big tournament,” he said. “It’s even nicer when there are people and fans in the crowd. I didn’t think we won before the last game because they [Hellfire and Trippernn] were pretty far ahead, but they died early in the last game. It all came down to that. It was awesome.”
Anas outshines thousands of players to win the MrBeast Fortnite tournament and $1 million
The Gamers8 triumph wasn’t Anas’ only significant achievement of 2022. An even more impressive victory occurred in December. Epic Games and YouTube sensation Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson unveiled a collaboration, which included a cosmetic set alongside a top-heavy $1 million tournament. Dubbed the MrBeast Extreme Survival Challenge, players were tasked with surviving through waves of obstacles and challenges while earning points.
Anas saw this as an opportunity to show he’s talented at more than just competitive Fortnite.
“The tournament only got announced a week before we had to play it, so there wasn’t really a lot of time to practice,” he said. “Since I’m pro at the game, I was expecting to have a pretty good chance. I played the game mode a lot and practiced with my friend most of the day. I think it was pretty fun to play it because it was something new and I hadn’t tried it before.”
Despite having little time to practice, Anas told us he put in three to six hours every day until the tournament day arrived. The professional Fortnite player set the bar early with a personal best score of 142,099.
“Yeah, it was my personal best from all the time practicing, so I was pretty happy about the score. I couldn’t really focus the rest of the tournament," he said. "I knew it was very hard to get that high of a score since I hadn’t gotten it before, so I was pretty confident.”
Two excruciating hours would follow as thousands of other players hoped to achieve a score higher than 142,099, but no one did. Tournament queues closed after three hours, and Anas was the undisputed MrBeast Extreme Survival Challenge Champion and winner of $1 million. Although he has only spoken to MrBeast through Twitter DMs, Epic Games has already paid out the grand prize.
His family cheered him on the entire way, especially his father, who has supported Anas every step during his Fortnite journey. Anas said that his family waited for him outside his door and proceeded to take pictures to celebrate his $1 million payday.
We wanted to know if the MrBeast Champion planned to use the money for anything, but he’s not materialistic. “I’m not the type of guy to spend a lot of money. I play the game, and I’ll invest [the money] probably,” he said.
Only a few Fortnite players can say they have earned $1 million playing the game, and Anas is one of them. The victory vaulted him into the top 10 on the all-time Fortnite earnings list, putting him amongst Fortnite World Cup Champions Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf and David ‘aqua’ Wang. He said the defining moment in his Fortnite career was winning the MrBeast tournament or the Gamers8 LAN competition.
Anas talks Guild Esports, teaming with ‘Hen,’ and gives his thoughts on the 2023 competitive Fortnite roadmap
Esports organizations and Fortnite don’t typically mesh well, especially as of late. However, Anas is one of the few professional players who has spent an extended period under one team’s banner. He joined the United Kingdom-based Guild Esports in 2021 and has remained there ever since. He reflected positively upon his experience with the esports team.
“Guild is a nice org with nice people,” he told Esports.gg. “They support me the best they can. The staff helps out if I need anything. I can go to the boot camp whenever I want at their headquarters as well.”
From a competitive perspective, Anas has undergone some changes of late. He parted ways with long-time duo partner Pinq ahead of Fortnite Chapter 4 and formed a partnership with fellow Guild Esports competitor Henrik ‘Hen’ Mclean. Anas explained how the two have performed since the new competitive season began.
“In tournaments, we’ve been doing pretty good,” he said. “Our late games are very good, but getting to the late game is pretty scuffed when we are contested.”
Hen and Anas have finished seventh and sixth in the first two Elite Cup Finals of Chapter 4. They hope to continue this success throughout the 2023 season, which now has a complete schedule. Epic Games released a roadmap that includes three “Major” tournaments and the FNCS Global Championship–a $4 million in-person event to cap off the year.
Esports.gg asked Anas to explain how he reacted to the recent competitive Fortnite announcement.
“I think it’s pretty nice to see a tournament like this. They [Epic Games] don’t really announce this far ahead, so it’s pretty exciting to see that evolving a bit,” he said. “I think it’s fine only having one LAN. There will be third-party events as well. It’s good that we are not traveling that much, as it’s pretty hard for some people.”
From playing PlayStation at a young age to ascending the ranks in League of Legends to winning $1 million playing Fortnite, Anas has done more than most. His humble demeanor makes him a player worth watching and certainly one to cheer. He hopes 2023 will be the year he hoists the FNCS Axe of Champions and continues to grow his Fortnite legacy.
Matthew "MJP" Pryor
Editor | Twitter @MJP_FN
Matt “MJP” Pryor began following esports in 2008 when Halo 3 was on top of the world. He is now a Fortnite fanatic who has watched the game’s casual and competitive development since the 2019 Fortnite World Cup. Matt plays the game often while reporting on everything from skin collaborations to tournaments and everything in between.