Ciro “Chenkinz” Saravia is a free agent Fortnite player. He qualified for the Fortnite World Cup in Week 7 Solos, an unknown player who put his name on the radar that week. That said, Chenkinz consistently placed within the Top 100 players during the weeks he played. His qualification comes from hard work and hours of practice.
We sat down with Ciro to discuss how he qualified, his history in gaming, and his plans for the future. The interview took place over an audio call, which we then transcribed into text for the purpose of this article. The responses have been edited for clarity.
Taylor Yates, Daily Esports: Who are you?
Chenkinz: My name is Ciro Saravia. I am a 20-year-old college student at the University of Houston. I am a lifelong gamer, but before Fortnite I was never at the level I am now.
T: Where are you from?
C: I was born in Houston and moved to Ohio at a young age. Then, I moved back to Sugar Land, Texas, which is part of Houston.
T: What was the first video game you played? What system did you play?
C: The first game I played was some Pokémon game on the Nintendo 64. In middle school, everyone talked about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It was the game that brought me into shooters.
T: Did you have aspirations to be a pro gamer? If so, when? What made you want to be a pro gamer?
C: Yes, I always wanted to. I was always decent and had aspirations to be a pro player. I never had the opportunity to play at the highest level. Fortnite gave me the chance. I missed out on the Winter Royale. The failure motivated me to put in the hours to grind and become a pro. I played around 10 hours a day to get myself ready.
T: When did you start playing Fortnite?
C: April of 2018.
T: What made you want to compete?
C: I put in so much time and want to validate the time spent. I want my hard work to be recognized and prove to my parents that I was not wasting time playing video games.
T: What did you wish you knew before you began competing?
C: Effective practice is better than more practice. A few hours a day can be more efficient than playing all day.
T: What are your favorite drop spot, weapon, and season/meta?
C: My favorite spot is Frosty flights. My favorite weapon was the silenced SMG, but now it is the combat shotgun. My favorite season is 4 or 5 when I first started.
Concerning the current meta: I do not like the meta with the Baller and spray weapons. The Combat Shotgun is too strong. I did use the baller to qualify because you have to use the tools available. The last game of Week 7 I sat in the Baller for placement points.
T: What does your training entail? (Scrims, playground, creative)
C: I use aim training, specifically Kovaaks on Steam. Also, I play creative mode to practice mechanics and scrims to simulate gameplay. I play Atlantis scrims but would love an invite to the professional Discord for better practice.
T: What are you working to improve currently?
C: I am working on rotating and tunneling into the zone end game. Ultimately, I want to make better decisions.
T: Are you playing in duos? How did you meet your duo partner?
C: I am playing with Trag1x. Trag1x narrowly missed qualifying by one point in Week 7. We met on a scrim discord. Since then, we have been playing together for about four weeks. I am confident that we can build our chemistry to qualify.
T: Are you excited about the World Cup? Is there anything you are looking forward to doing outside of competing?
C: I am extremely excited about the world cup. I have never been to New York. While I am there, I want to check out some plays or a musical. Of course, I want to win the World Cup!
T: What has been your favorite experience so far?
C: The moment I learned I qualified. I almost cried and was shaking. It was a moment that I will never forget. I called my parents to share, and they were super excited. Then, I went to grab sushi with some friends to celebrate. I did not do anything too crazy.
T: Talk me through the day you qualified and how the games went.
C: The World Cup started out rough. I gained a few kills early, but nothing spectacular. Then, I relaxed and began to play without the ballers. I picked up kills on players rotating, which allowed me to get 8 kills and second placement. It helped me calm down to play as I knew how. Then, the last game I finished in third. I thought I should have won that game. After the game, I believed I missed my chance to qualify for the World Cup.
T: Who is your favorite player/gamer?
C: I enjoy watching 72hrs. He is the funniest and most well-rounded streamer.
T: What do you like to do outside of gaming?
C: I like to play soccer and play guitar. Additionally, I am in school for Environmental Science. I want to finish my degree and have no plans to drop out of school.
Chenkinz cemented himself as a top player in the Fortnite community when he qualified. His journey continues in Week 10 with his duo partner. Beyond that, he looks to win the World Cup Finals. Even if the duo does not qualify in Week 10, Chenkinz earned himself the opportunity to compete for $3 million dollars in July.
In a new game, everyone is trying to make a statement, but there are only a few players in the community that become household names. Come July, Chenkinz could be the next.
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Taylor Yates is a gamer, sports lover, and content creator. He has been an avid gamer since the days of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Halo 3. Taylor now plays Fortnite under the name ‘sombodysgun’ and loves to share his gameplay. A recent NC State grad, Taylor loves to support his Wolfpack and other sports teams.