Esports.GG sits down with former Fortnite pro turned analyst Noah ‘Vivid’ Wright ahead of the FNCS Invitational 2022.

Competitive Fortnite returns to LAN this weekend with the first-ever FNCS Invitational. For many, the highly-anticipated event marks a return to an environment where esports thrives the most. For former Fortnite pro turned analyst Noah “Vivid” Wright, the FNCS Invitational is the moment that all the preparation has built toward.

Vivid has seen competitive Fortnite from two completely different standpoints. After winning many tournaments during the game’s early years, you can now find him on the official broadcast, making expert predictions and breaking down the gameplay. Furthermore, Vivid will be on the broadcast this weekend for the FNCS Invitational.

We had a chance to speak with Vivid ahead of the FNCS Invitational. The Summer Skirmish 2018 Champion provided insight into Fortnite’s current landscape, some dark horse picks, and much more. 

From player to analyst — Vivid explains how Fortnite has changed

As a former player and a successful one at that, what sort of changes have you seen in Fortnite since you retired? Which is the most significant?

Vivid: “Since personally retiring from competitive Fortnite, I can confidently say that the individual mechanical skill level for even the general player, let alone the ones that play at the highest level, has increased significantly. Not only has their ability to edit and build surpassed what I was once capable of, but they also are used to new in-game mechanicals such as tactical sprinting, sliding, and even some changes to directional movement. The biggest difference I would say from then to now though is probably Storm Surge. 

Whilst Storm Surge was a thing when I was playing, there have been some changes to it that have made it much more aggressive and harder to deal with. Storm Surge has become such a staple related to competitive Fortnite because in these very high-level lobbies it is not possible to get into the end game without making sure that you have dealt a good amount of damage throughout the game. Those changes plus players getting better overall and developing strategies around it have increased the damage threshold significantly since I retired.”

What’s unique about Chapter 3 Season 4 and Vivid gives his FNCS Invitational picks?

Fortnite Paradise
Fortnite’s latest season

There’s a lot to digest this Season with the addition of Chrome Splashes, Throwable Launch Pads, Vaults, and more. What do you think is the key to consistency and success in Chapter 3 Season 4?

Vivid: “I personally believe that one huge component about Chapter 3 Season 4 that can lead to being consistent is accessing the Vaults. Since Fortnite is a Battle Royale, one thing you must always do is loot but sometimes that loot doesn’t necessarily give you what you want or need. With the addition of the Vaults this Season, players make it a priority to go for them because the more Chests you loot the better chance you have every game to fill out your loadout. 

Taking this one step further, the two key Vaults are guaranteed to have Supply Drops in them, which drop Launch Pads. Being able to consistently grab Launch Pads every game to make sure you can pull off a set strategy, whether that be rotating or taking high ground, is extremely beneficial and gives the edge over opponents who may be entirely relying on RNG to provide them with their loot.”

The FNCS Invitational 2022 plays host to teams from every competitive region. Which teams are you most looking forward to watching? Also, who are the dark horses in your opinion?

Vivid: “I am genuinely looking forward to watching each Duo compete at the Invitational. Even more so the combination of specific teams will result in such a unique lobby that every second will be so exciting! Teams that I will likely be trying to look out for the most include Queasy and Veno, Bugha and Mero, and K1ng and EdRoadToGlory. I’ll be paying attention to Queasy and Veno because they seem to be the favorites currently coming into the competition. 

After their [Queasy and Veno’s] dominant performance in not only the EU Elite Cup but ALSO the NAE Elite Cup, in which they won BOTH on the same day, they seemed to of caught everyone’s eye, and for good reason. Their end game high ground strategies have proven to work very well and regardless of the situation presented to them they always seem to have an answer. That combined with their mid-game rotates that seems to revolve heavily around prioritizing the “dead side” of zone, they are looking extremely good. 

Bugha and Mero are the most decorated Duo competing at the Invitational and are currently on a hot streak. Since joining forces together in Chapter 2 Season 8, they have competed in five FNCS events together. They won three of them and got 3rd and 2nd in the others. Over the past five FNCS’s, they have not placed outside of top three, leaving them as the strongest Duo coming out of NAE. 

With Bugha also being the Solo World Cup Champion and Mero having the second most FNCS wins of an individual player, with five, they are both looking to solidify themselves as the greatest of all time. Bugha has not played at an in-person event since World Cup so his return to the stage makes it that much more exciting. They are known for the end game solo clutches, so I’ll be looking out for those this weekend!

Vivid draws attention to Brazil ahead of the FNCS Invitational

Vivid: Another Duo that has my attention right now is K1ng and EdRoadToGlory. K1ng made a name for himself on the international stage at World Cup where he was the most aggressive player that the world had seen and finished 5th place. Since then, he continued to show out in the Brazilian region. 

With his return to the international stage, I’ll be looking forward to him living up to his previous performance. EdRoadToGlory, who has had a very good showing in the past two FNCS’s with 4th and 2nd place finishes and his recent signing to Team Liquid just days before the competition, has been a great pairing for K1ng as they have even been seen doing very well in the practice room against even some of the favorites.”

As an analyst, what does your preparation look like ahead of a competition of this caliber? How much time do you spend watching Elite Cups and VOD reviewing?

Vivid: “Preparation for competition of this caliber can be quite intense because there are 100 total players to know, and they are coming from each region. For myself, I am quite familiar with all of the players on NAE so whenever I do analytical work for NAE it is quite easy because it is the primary region I work on but I also played on the region with a lot of the players that are still playing. Much of my time and prep into this event has been looking into VODs, primarily of Elite Cups, of every other region as well as familiarizing myself with some notable placements of every Duo. 

This leads to multiple sheets of information and notes. Knowing every player is important as an analyst but it is also important to keep up with socials, review old shows to see where I can improve on camera, and work with my co-workers to make sure we have the flow that we want to come out with.”

Vivid gives advice for players competing in their first LAN at the FNCS Invitational & the GOAT conversation

Image Credit: AP

You’ve won Fortnite tournaments and competed at some of the most iconic LAN events. What sort of advice would you offer to first-timers that have not been in this intense environment?

Vivid: “The intense environment that will exist will make a lot of the players nervous whether they are experienced on the stage or not. Keeping in mind what has worked in the past to calm those nerves will be very important here and they will have to do their best to make sure they can think and play properly. Worst case scenario, this even can be seen as something that will provide the experience necessary to compete in future events of this caliber. 

All in all, it is most important to embrace the experience in its entirety. Realizing the situation that each individual player is in, as 1 of the 100 players that get to compete at the Invitational out of everyone that competes in Fortnite, is essential to giving themselves the confidence they need to face the intense environment. The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to make the most out of the experience.”

Who do you believe is the best Fortnite player of all time? Do you think your opinion changes this weekend?

Vivid: “In my opinion, it is hard to argue for someone as the best Fortnite player of all time to be anyone other than Bugha. Be it that Bugha won arguably the biggest international event to date and did so in solos is something that has to be considered for the rest of time even. I don’t believe winning that event could solemnly carry the title of best Fortnite player of all time. That is why it is also important to consider that Bugha has continued to dominate competition since, even 3+ years later. In the last five FNCS’s on NAE, he has gotten top three in each one of them with three of them being wins. He has now been at the top of the game for such a long time, which no other player has been able to do. 

Competitive accomplishments are always going to be the biggest factor to consider when it comes to the best Fortnite player of all time but I do not believe it is the only one. Bugha has made incredible strides even outside of Fortnite. That includes big sponsorship deals with the likes of Five Below and Xfinity and was even featured in a Super Bowl commercial! He has thrown his name out there in so many unheard-of ways that have surely helped bring attention to Fortnite Competitive. 

Since Bugha’s accomplishments are just so incredible, I think it would be hard for me to reconsider him as the best Fortnite player of all time even if he does not win this weekend. That being said, winning the Invitational, an international event on this level would be a huge start to dethroning him!”


You can catch Vivid at the FNCS Invitational this weekend on Twitch and YouTube. Also, check out Vivid on Twitter.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for more Fortnite news and update!

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Matthew

Matthew "MJP" Pryor

| 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.