Reddysh is relishing the LAN Fortnite era ahead of Red Bull Contested
It feels like a completely different age when we think back to how Fortnite was pre-pandemic.
Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf lifting the inaugural Fortnite World Cup and collecting $3 million as a 16-year-old feels like a decade ago. Even watching Nick "NICKMERCS" Kolcheff and Aydan "Aydan" Conrad going head to head on Tilted Towers and sparking one of Fortnite's most fearsome rivalries seems a distant memory.
But Fortnite is on its way back. The original battle royale boomer has evolved and blossomed over the years, and now, a return to on-stage action is whetting players' appetite more than ever before.
So, ahead of the next major LAN at Red Bull Contested, we sat down with Irina "Reddysh" as she steps out of her TikTok comfort zone to pursue re-light her fiery taste for competition.
Reddysh on her competitive fire ahead of Red Bull Contested
Reddysh, a Romanian-born streamer turned Fortnite competitor will be taking to the stage against a range of the game's best players at Red Bull Contested, having been named as the only quote-unquote content creator in the event.
But if anyone thinks Reddysh will be easy pickings, they might be in for a red-hot response, as competitive Fortnite appears to be her bread and butter, with the McEwan Hall stage being lit up in the same colour as her signature hair.
"I've been streaming Fortnite for like five years. It's my entire life and I'm, I'm full time with this, so I always say I'm a full-time Fortnite lover," Reddysh told GGRecon.
"I'm a very competitive person at heart, I just love the tournaments. I cannot say I have insane results in the biggest tournaments, but I think I've managed to stand out in tournaments like Women of the eRena, where we get to compete against other girls.
"I normally do very well in those, like I always place top five," added Reddysh. "I'm pretty well-known as one of the best girls in the community. I've won a couple of coed cups (where it's duos and girls get to compete alongside other pro players) and I love those kinds of tournaments.
"I'm enjoying playing every single tournament, like whenever Fortnite announces a tournament, I'm playing it and I'm having a lot of fun."
Reddysh on Fortnite esports' resurgence on loving offline events
With Fortnite esports ramping up the number of events this year and some huge potential opportunities coming in the next few months, Reddysh also opened up about enjoying the social side of offline tournaments, which can only help the scene grow with more personality.
Specifically, she's noted the UK as a great hub for this, pointing out that Edinburgh has been more than welcoming to create a good competitive atmosphere. "I love it. Most of us just came back from Dallas and it was like a ghost town, so we would walk outside. There would be no one on the streets.
"Here, it is so full of life. So many people are outside and the views are phenomenal. Like this Medieval vibe is just so nice. When we got to the hotel, we put the groups together yesterday and just spent hours outside walking around, it was beautiful.
"I love offline events. I'm very happy. Because of Covid, we didn't really have anything and now we're gonna have the event in Copenhagen, hopefully, a World Cup too soon, so I think offline tournaments are great. Having this experience where all of us are together is inspiring. Everyone has great personalities and they're very nice.
"I think content-wise, that's also a good opportunity to show off the competitive world more to the casual audience."
Reddysh has also held her own online events in recent months, targeting co-ed opportunities for marginalised genders too, and hopes that more of these events can happen to inspire more inclusivity within the Fortnite upper echelons.
"I have a lot of girls in my community that I inspire whenever I play a tournament, whenever I get involved, they wanna. Try. So I feel like us having the chance to compete in an environment like that helps inspire other girls get into it as well.
"And it's very hard, like if, if I dunno girls go and play in F N Cs, let's say, they're not gonna be able to, I don't know, stand out. But in a tournament like girls-only tournaments are co-ed. We can show that we can keep up and I don't know. We can put on a good C and I feel like that's inspiring for girls to get into comp."
Reddysh's ones-to-watch for Red Bull Contested
As for this weekend, eyes have been diverted from Reddysh's flame-inspired look and been placed just next to her, as her Galaxy Racer colleague Aleksa "Queasy" Cvetkovic has been tipped to win Red Bull Contested.
"I have two favourites, and one is actually one of the favourites and one is an underdog," says Reddysh. "The favourite for me would be Queasy. He just won the latest FNCS. He got six wins out of 12 games that they played in, and he's one of win here. He's my favourite.
But then I'm also rooting for Andrei "zAndy" Ursu. There are only two Romanians here, himself and I, and because he's Romanian, I'm really rooting for him. He's a very nice 17-year-old kid, and he's very underrated and talented. I think he's going to get top five at least."
Red Bull Contested will take place on June 10, where Reddysh will take on other superstars like Martin "MrSavage" Foss.