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Monster Energy x Fifakill Interview

Published On:: 2024/06/16

Between filming takes of Monster Energy’s latest campaign with Call of Duty, it felt like the perfect time to ask Ethan "Fifakill" Pink about his momentous journey through Call of Duty: Warzone. Becoming a Monster Energy ambassador roughly two years ago, Fifakill has been a consistent top contender in the Warzone scene, and a name synonymous with the game’s high-skill plays. While his ability speaks for itself, it’s important to hear in his own words just how much work goes into being one of the best around.

Q: Tell me what comes to mind when you think of Call of Duty. What do these games mean to you?

F: “Call of Duty is everything. It's literally been my entire life for as long as I can remember. I started when I was six. I mean, it's a bit unorthodox, but just split-screening with my dad. Back in the day, that's how it was done. Then it just carried on from there. My dad noticed that I was quite good, so he pitched me against his friends that were a bit older. I beat them, and then just slowly worked my way up the chain. Started grinding leaderboards, like MW3 (2011), trying to get as high as I could. Then from there, it became almost an addiction. I just loved it. How high can I push these limits? How far can we go? And it's just been the story ever since. Just kept going and going and going.”


Q: What do you think sets you apart from just playing Call of Duty casually to turning it into your life and your career?

F: “I think the main thing is that I didn't go into it knowing or thinking it could be a job — It was a passion. I was so passionate about it, even now, that I can just outwork everyone else. I just put so much time in that at a certain point you’re bound to just end up quite good. I was looking at my stats yesterday; I've streamed 350 hours of CoD in the last 30 days, which averages out to 11 and a half hours a day.And I've been doing that for like four years!”


Q: And that's what you have to do, right? Just to even make a dent. Especially when it comes to streaming.

F: “They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything and I'm probably double that, if not more, on CoD.”


Q: You think you could go toe to toe with anyone and just be like, “Yeah, no problem”?

F: “I think so, yeah. You’ve got to have confidence. It’s part of Call of Duty. Even if someone maybe on paper is better — if you have enough confidence and you just give it your all, in your head you've told yourself you're going to win it, you're just so much more likely to.”


Q: Is that the mindset? On those off days you might have every now and then, how do you talk yourself round to being like, “No, I'm going to be good regardless”?

F: “I mean, sometimes you’ve just got to give yourself a slap. Even a bad day is a good day, to be honest. In the grand scheme of things. But you’ve just got to tell yourself, ‘I've done this, I've done it before, I've won that, I've won this. Just business as usual.’ But then some days you just have a bad day, you're off. You wake up, you go again the next day. Especially with Ranked right now. We're riding every day. Some days you'll play 12 hours and you'll go backwards, and that is the most demoralizing thing ever. But you’ve just gotta keep going because you never know, you could turn around. Some days we manage to turn it around and it ends up good. Some days, you’ve just got to sleep on it. You wake up the next day and it's like a mental reset, a fresh day, and you go again.”


Q: What do you make of the state of Ranked at the moment? For Warzone, specifically, how do you feel about it?

F: “I really like Ranked. But at the same time, I think it's a lot easier to enjoy something when you're winning. I think there's an element of I'm loving it because I'm number one, and that's giving me something to dial in on every day. But I would rather have a big map Ranked, like Urzikstan Battle Royale Ranked. I think every competitive player is of the same opinion because the Battle Royale obviously has a much higher skill gap, it’s more competitive. But I think from the standpoint of the community, I think Rebirth Ranked is really positive, because a lot of people played it back in the day. Whether it's nostalgia, whether it's a better map design, whatever — it's bringing a lot of people back.

I usually notice from my real-life friends and people outside of my streaming, when they're playing, CoD’s doing something good. So I remember after Verdansk, they weren't playing anymore. And now a lot of them are back playing again. It's like, ‘Oh, Rebirth brought me back’. You see it in chat. People are like, ‘I haven't watched in years. I'm back for Rebirth. This is so good!’ So I think, generally speaking, it's a positive thing.

From a professional standpoint, it's tough. But I'm having fun, so I just don't care. At the end of the day, I'm playing more than I ever have, and I'm having more fun than I ever have. I'm in a happy place.”


Q: With Rebirth Island back in Warzone, and fully realized in Warzone Mobile, where's your favourite place to drop?

F: “We land Storage every single game. Every single game. We have a two-one split. We have two guys land on top of the tower. We have high control, and then I land on the helipad so that if they don’t make it, I'm still alive and we can regain. Because at the start, the redeploy timer is super short. Plus, there's a cashout on the helipad, so you get a lot of money for your loadout. We do that every single game.”


Q: Did you do that before they brought back Rebirth? Was that the original strategy that you’ve adjusted?

F: “Interestingly enough, I never actually played Rebirth the first time. I was a big map guy. I just played Verdansk all day. I hated Rebirth. But for some reason now, maybe because I didn't play it the first time, I'm just all in on Rebirth. Storage is my place. When we get other good teams in the lobby, other top 250s, just know they aren't landing storage. They’ll go anywhere but there.”


Q: So, to put you on the spot: Do you prefer Verdansk to Urzikstan?

F: I think Verdansk is the best map ever. I really like Urzikstan, I think it's actually good. I enjoyed it a lot when it came out. But Verdansk is just lovely. I haven't disliked any of the maps, though. I think Caldera was my second favourite.

The problem with Caldera was when it came out, it sucked. The state of the game for the first month or so, especially with console players not being able to play, was a big hit. The lack of movement and pacing was tough. But by the end of the game, that was probably the most competitive Warzone has ever been. All the quality of life updates they did. The game was in a great state by the end. If it had been released, how it finished, I think it would have done just as well as Verdansk did, obviously accounting for lockdown ending. I think it would have performed fine. I think they just had a faulty start. I think that's a bit of a recurring theme.

Verdansk was just so good because it didn’t need any updates. The pacing was already good. Everything about it was perfect. That's my baby. I want it back. 


Q: You must be super happy to see Verdansk return in Warzone Mobile.

F: Yeah, I played it. I think once you play on PCs with super insane FPS, it's definitely hard to go backwards at any point. But just seeing Verdansk gives me a dopamine hit that you just don't get with anything else. I don't know if it's nostalgia, but there’s just something about it that just hits every time.


Q: I imagine it all comes back. Not just the thoughts, but the plays you used to do or the strategies you had. It all just comes back and applies itself again.

F: Yeah, and if Verdansk didn't exist, I wouldn't be where I am now. So I feel like I owe it. It made me.


Q: You’ve been a Monster Ambassador for roughly two years now. How’s that journey been?

F: So sick. The brand itself is sick, and I've always drunk the energy drink. So now I get more Monster than ever, and then we get to do cool experiences like the COD Mobile Video we did with the other Monster ambassadors I mean, even just on a day-to-day basis, I load into the game and I see the Monster skin. I'm like, ‘That's me!’ It’s a cool feeling seeing something that I'm involved with in the game. That's a good feeling. Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself.