Remember in 2019, when the Fortnite World Cup took the world by storm by being one of the largest esports events ever? At the tournament, Cody ‘Clix’ Conrod, at the time a part of Misfits, made a great impression by making the finals in both Solo and Duos tournaments, and bringing home more than $150,000 (~£118,000).
Today, Conrod arguably works three jobs — content creator, business owner and pro player. 19-year old Conrod sat down with Esports Insider to discuss his road from the World Cup to his personal growth, impressive slate of business ventures — which include co-ownership of esports organisation XSET and his apparel brand Dr3amin — his views on Fortnite’s esports scene, as well as Fortnite Creative.
Since the World Cup, Conrod changed organisations two times, started his own merchandise company and is now a co-owner of XSET, a buzzy North American esports organisation with a focus on gaming culture and lifestyle. He said that he “feels part of something larger than himself” with XSET, partly because the partnership extends beyond just his competitive gameplay.
Conrod said the Fortnite World Cup back in 2019 was a “game changer” for him. “After that event, I gained others’ respect for my skill at Fortnite, but really realised the incredible potential of gaming lifestyle and streaming. I think that’s how I’ve differentiated myself since the event. I’ve not only continued to compete at a high level in various Fortnite tournaments, but I’ve really committed myself to content creation as a streamer to build one of the best communities in the industry.”
As of right now, Conrod is a streamer and competitive player for XSET, while at the same time being a co-owner of the organisation (his ownership stake has not been disclosed) and running his gaming-inspired streetwear brand Dr3amin. Conrod said that the values of XSET — which has made diversity and inclusion a key theme — align well with his own, and that his main goal with the company is merging gaming with lifestyle and fashion.
Reflecting on his time in XSET so far, Conrod is optimistic, claiming that becoming an owner is a big move that’ll have major upsides in his long-term success. Together, they launched a merchandise drop to coincide with Conrod’s announcement as XSET’s newest Co-Owner. Conrod said the merchandise drop from last year was the start of a collection now available through XSET’s website. “The apparel side is definitely exciting for us and I’m looking forward to the next drop we do together,” he said. “Having the support and guidance from XSET is invaluable to me as a businessman and creator.”
Merchandise and business operations are just one of many hats Conrod wears. Speaking as a competitive player in Fortnite esports, Conrod noted that the scene was at an “all-time-low” in late 2023, which he argued had nothing to do with the viewership or relevance of the game but rather with the operations and strategy around scrims and the practice environment. Conrod added that “there doesn’t seem to be an immense support system for competitive players,” which has led to some frustration from pro players in the scene.
However, with BLAST assuming more creative freedom with the 2024 FNCS season, existing issues pro players had with the structure might be remedied in the coming months. BLAST will now operate the entire FNCS including competition, event production and marketing.
“The BLAST announcement I think shows that someone is interested in the Fortnite competitive ecosystem, but we will see how it plays out over the next year or two,” Conrod added. “You can see more and more competitive players streaming and making content, so I’d say that’s a great sign for the growth of our scene.”
Meanwhile, between his other ventures, Conrod continues to create content. He has 2.7m YouTube subscribers and more than 7m Twitch followers. Conrod added however that he feels younger competitive players might struggle to believe in the content side of the industry, which is a major drawback. “It doesn’t matter how great you think you are — if you’re not creating content and establishing a community, you’re not maximising your career.
“But there’s no surprise that there’s a huge challenge competing against stream snipers, which has been so frustrating to my competitive career. However, it’s a challenge I think more players have to face head-on in order to create the most successful and long-term career possible.”
Alongside competition and content creation, Conrod is also working with XSET on a Fortnite Creative project called Clix Creative, which allows him and his team to create maps and other in-game experiences in Fortnite. XSET is a strategic partner of this venture, and the organisation will support maps and other creative ventures Conrod plans in the future. Clix Creative maps and modes had more than 30 million players in 2023.
Diversifying operations and opening commercial opportunities for himself has allowed Conrod to create a stable career for himself for when his competitive career ends — a move other pros and aspiring pros could perhaps learn from. For now, the 19 year old is confident in his and XSET’s future.
“My vision is to take over the Fortnite scene as Fortnite continues to become larger and more influential,” Conrod said. “I also want to continue to take over the competitive scene and be the go-to organisation that any and all players want to join. Outside of gaming, my Dr3amin apparel brand will have the opportunity to become more integrated inside more verticals outside of gaming; look at the investors and growth of XSET in music and entertainment — that’s where I want to take my brand and career.”