interviews • Feb 04, 2019
Interview with TSM HighDistortion: "When I set a goal I do whatever it takes to achieve it."
Hi everyone! Today, we were able to reach out to TSM HighDistortion (HD) who became the first person in the world to get 100,000 lifetime kills in Fortnite a couple of weeks ago! For those who don’t know him, HD is a popular Fortnite streamer on Twitch who exclusively plays solo squads. He has had competitive experience playing in the Summer and Fall Skirmishes last year, often being one of the most aggressive players in each lobby. He's joined us today to answer questions about being the first to hit 100,000 and about his personal history in esports starting from his days playing Gears of War to being on TSM and playing Fortnite.
First off, congratulations on being the first person in the world to hit 100,000 kills! You’ve already publicly commented on how much it’s meant to you, so we want you to describe to us what that journey was like throughout. Were there any points in time where you thought you weren’t going to get the achievement? What kept you grinding for it?
There was a point mid-December where I was about 4k kills behind Ninja with about 92k elims. I thought I would challenge myself and see if I could grind to be the first player to 100k. In the end, it really was a personal goal to challenge myself. I knew I was going to get it simply because when I set a goal I do whatever it takes to achieve it.
You said you weren’t that interested in Fortnite when you first started. What kept you playing and what is it that you enjoy about Fortnite that’s made it easier to play so much of it?
At the time of Fortnite BR’s release I was really into OW and PUBG. When I finally gave Fortnite a good chance (because I got a 4 hour suspension on OW) I really started to enjoy the 3rd person shotgun fights that I loved from Epic’s own Gears of War series that I played professionally for just about 10 years.
You’re well known as a solo squads only player and we’ve heard you say the reason is that you think solos are too boring. When did you decide to start only playing solo squads? And what do you like most about playing solo squads exclusively?
For me it’s all about being in crazy tense situations and the hype and adrenaline when coming out on top. This for me goes all the way back to public servers on Counter-Strike 1.0-1.6 where I would wait in spawn for my team to die to try and win the round all by self. I also used to do this in Gears of War ranked matches and try and win the 1v4 after my team died. I know its kinda griefing my team, but I just really loved playing in those type of situations.
Could you tell us about some of your most memorable moments streaming Fortnite?
I think my best moment in Fortnite would have to be when I got offered to join TSM because of the game. It was when I knew I finally was going to be able to make gaming my career after getting so much crap from friends and family for playing video games so much throughout my life.
As a streamer, part of your job is to answer repeat questions over and over. Are there any questions that people ask you all the time that you wish they’d stop asking?
Yes - if I don’t play with Dakotaz for one day I am constantly asked if there is drama between the two of us.
You have a long history with MLG and playing games competitively. When did you make the transition from playing games competitively to streaming? And when did you first consider streaming full-time?
I streamed sparingly during my pro days in Gears of War, mostly during big online tournaments. I decided to take streaming seriously with the release of Overwatch and streamed as much as I could. It was a long grind. The week before I started playing Fortnite was when i celebrated 2000 followers on stream. It took off pretty quickly once I started playing Fortnite a couple weeks after the BR mode was released, and by mid-November I decided to go full time with streaming.
You played Gears of War professionally for over ten years, and after that, you played Overwatch competitively for a little bit. What was the transition to Fortnite from these games like?
I picked up Fortnite pretty quickly as I had tons of battle royale experience by playing a bunch of Arma 3 and PUBG. On top of that I had experience playing Gears of War which is a 3rd person shooter mostly consisting of shotgun fights so being decent at Fortnite came pretty naturally to me.
Could you give us some insight into the differences between playing Gears of War in MLG all those years ago and playing Fortnite competitively in the Summer and Fall Skirmishes now?
Well in Gears of War I took competitive 100% serious and many hours a day were spent on scrimming, watching vods and going over strategies with my teammates. I have not taken that leap yet with Fortnite as streaming is my number one priority and adding that kind of grind on top of streaming isn’t something I want to do at my point in life. So competing in tournaments for me now is just going in what I picked up playing pubs and watching other players.’
You’ve put on some solid performances in tournaments like Friday Fortnite and Epic’s Summer and Fall Skirmishes. You took the award for high eliminations in Summer Skirmish Week 3 and broke the record for high eliminations from a single player with 24 kills in Friday Fortnite Week 7. What are your hopes for the future of esports in Fortnite?
My future in esports on Fortnite is still up in the air for me. On one hand, I still love competing even at the age of 32, but I also know I need to focus my time wisely. Fortnite esports as whole feels like it’s in a weird state at the moment because Epic and the competitive community don’t seem to be on the same page when it comes to consistency and balance in the game and tourney formats.
In the article announcing that you were signing with TSM, you mention that other orgs were interested in signing with you as well. Could you give us some extra information about what that period of time was like, in addition to what the signing process was like with TSM?
Well it was kind of stressful for me as at the time I never did any kinda contract negotiations before and didn’t know what my worth exactly was and I didn’t want to be taking advantage by any org as this was a brand new space for me. I really have to give a shoutout to Seagull (the OW player) for helping and giving me a ton of advice.
You’ve officially been with TSM for over a year since signing at the start of 2018. Has this year been particularly different for you in terms of your gaming and streaming career? What has being on TSM been like for you?
TSM has given me the backing and support that I was hoping for and beyond from an org. I appreciate being in an org that so many players and community members look up to.
As with all our interviews, are there any shoutouts or final remarks you would like to make?
I want to shout out the viewers that show up everyday to the stream and every person who has showed any amount of support. This all couldn’t be possible without them
Follow TSM HighDistortion on Social Media:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HighDistortion
- Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/HighDistortion
- Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/HighDistortion
Interview posted February 4th, 2019