Fortnite is one of the most famous battle royale games in the world, with an accompanying thriving competitive gaming scenario. Danila "Malibuca" Yakovenko is a popular esports professional who belongs to Galaxy Racer’s Fortnite roster.
On 31 July, 2022, Malibuca won the Gamers8 2022 along with his teammate, Shane “EpikWhale” Cotton, and also won the MVP award. In conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’s Debolina Banerjee, the Fortnite pro talks about the battle royale game's competitive scene, what it takes to become a professional player, and more.
Malibuca's thoughts on Fortnite's competitive scene
Q. Tell us more about your “Malibuca” persona. What was so special about Fortnite and gaming in general that instigated you to take it up as a profession?
Malibuca: I started playing Fortnite randomly when my brother suggested that I play with him. I fell in love with the game because it had new mechanics and was really interesting for me. I did not think of becoming a professional player when I started playing the battle royale title. I was having fun and watching pro players and one day when I got my first decent PC with 144hz, I started putting more effort into becoming a professional player.
Q. If not gaming, which career path would you have chosen?
Malibuca: I don't know yet, but probably something with PCs (programming for example)!
Q. What other games do you enjoy aside from Fortnite? What hobbies do you like to indulge in during your free time?
Malibuca: I like playing VALORANT and DOTA 2 and also some fun games like Fall Guys and Crab Game.
I do not have much free time as I am putting a lot of time into Fortnite, but when I do get some breaks, I go out with my family and play basketball.
Q. What are some of the ways in which a player can become a better gamer in competitions?
Malibuca: I think the first and best way is to watch other professionals. One must look at what they do and analyze why they do it. They need to grind Fortnite, of course, and analyze their mistakes as well.
Q. From the Duos Cash Cup: Chapter 3 Season 3 – Week 3 to the Fortnite Champions Series: Chapter 2 Season 8 Grand Finals, victory seemed slightly out of your reach. Do you really feel that winning every tournament is absolutely necessary? What was the best aspect about taking part in those tournaments?
Malibuca: I don't think that winning a tournament is necessary. When you place consistently and get earnings from each Cash Cup, wins do not really matter. If you want to win a Cash Cup, first of all, you need a lot of luck.
The best part after every tournament is your placement, when you see your nickname at the top of the leaderboard, it makes you very happy.
Q. If you had to choose between playing solo/duo/squad matches, which one would you choose and why?
Malibuca: Duos, duos and only duos! Solo is 50% about your luck, you can get 100th place in finals if someone decides to "grief you" and also this game mode is only good for Cash Cups. Squads are bad as well due to voice spam and craziness in matches. Moreover, I do not think that Fortnite servers will be able to handle stacked games in squads.
Q. Before joining Galaxy Racer (GXR), you were part of TT9 Esports. What are some of the aspects that you miss in the esports organization? What did you learn from your previous roster when it comes to taking part in Fortnite championships?
Malibuca: I miss the people from TT9. The guys who I worked with were really good with communication and they could help me any minute. I learned that it is not hard to record every video from every tournament, and if you place well, you can post a video to make your followers happy.
Q. How is GXR different from TT9 Esports? What are you most looking forward to from the new organization that you signed up with?
Malibuca: First of all, GXR is bigger than TT9, and now I am also known in the Middle East as a very good Fortnite player (and basically in all countries because the organization is very big, as I said). I am getting more help with my tournaments and all the stuff in esports.
The best aspect that I am looking forward to is heading over to the bootcamp with my boys from GXR.
Q. You are active on both YouTube and Twitch. As a content creator/streamer, which platform do you prefer and why? Do you prefer streaming over content creator or is the reverse true?
Malibuca: To be honest, I cannot give a clear answer to this question. I like both streaming and making videos. On streams, I can have fun and talk with my fans live, but on YouTube, I can upload my videos from tournaments, which is also very interesting. However, I will choose Twitch as this platform is more stable for pro players.
Q. What are some of the most important aspects that an aspiring Fortnite content creator must always keep in mind?
Malibuca: I cannot really answer this question because I am not really a content creator. However, I think one needs to stream almost daily or have a schedule of streams, so all viewers will come back to him/her after each stream.
Also, I don't think one needs to focus on one game or one thing, he/she always needs to test some other content and give joy to his/her followers like playing fun games or interacting with them.