When you think of the highest-level Fortnite player in the world, chances are you'd imagine one of the best players in competitive Fortnite. Perhaps even a streamer, or one of the dedicated players currently leading the pack for most wins in the game.
The actual answer, it would seem, is a lot weirder.
Meet Talocan, who's recently come to the attention of the Fortnite community for his ridiculously high level - currently at 520, at the time of writing. A mysterious figure, Talocan broadcasts his grinding methods via hours-long YouTube streams, with no commentary and only the occasional comment in the live chat. And he's not playing regular matches: instead, he lands at Steamy Stacks, opens all the chests there and quits the match. Over and over.
There's not a huge amount of information available on Talocan on the internet, but as spotted by content creator Cinema of Gaming, he shared a little about himself on his recent streams. He's a 17 year-old German, who's currently off school due to the coronavirus outbreak - thus explaining why he has so much time on his hands. We don't really know how long he spends doing this per day, although he has taken to Twitter to correct a translation error claiming he played for 16 hours per day. He's a serial grinder, having achieved the highest rank (previously level 100) in all the other Fortnite seasons. Remarkably, he's only bought three battle pass tiers this season, and his end goal is to reach level 600 by its end. Which, to be fair, he's not that far away from doing.
So, why are people so certain that Talocan is the highest-levelled player in the world? While there are leaderboards which track wins and kills in Fortnite, there's no official ranking for levels, meaning it's mainly done through spotting people on social media. But when put in context of other player's level ranks, it's clear Talocan is miles ahead of the pack for this season: Rдnger, who's currently ranked second in the total wins leaderboard, was at level 376 in his latest stream. Since going fairly viral, nobody else has stepped forward to claim the title of highest level (without the help of glitches, at least), and the community seems to have agreed that Talocan is now the highest-level player.
Using Team Rumble to level up is far from a new idea, as the mode has respawns which means players can grind out kills and challenges without the need to re-queue every time they die. Opening chests has also become a strategy for grinding XP, but nobody has taken it to the same level as Talocan, and the whole thing seems to have encouraged others to try their hand at Talocan's chest route. And even bump into him while doing so.
Been using TALOCAN's (highest levelled player this season) guide on XP grind all day, and randomly ended up in his game just now. Had to show him some love! from r/FortNiteBR
It's interesting timing for Talocan to get the spotlight, as this season Fortnite's XP grind has received a fair bit of criticism. To unlock the season's top reward, the golden variant of the Agent Peely skin, you need to reach level 300. Unfortunately the challenges have been rather miserly, with many casual players complaining they haven't been able to earn enough XP from completing the tasks, thus making it hard to earn the top prizes without getting serious about the game - or buying the early levels, I suppose. And that's even with a significant extension to the season. In light of all this, Talocan's achievement is even more remarkable.
I tried to get in touch with Talocan to ask him why on Earth he started doing this, but didn't get a response - possibly because he was busy opening chests. I can't imagine staying so motivated to grind for so long, but anyway, I wish him all the best in his journey to level 600.