Like millions of us around the world, Sahar ‘Legendary117s’ Cohen is obsessed with Call of Duty: Warzone. The battle royale’s fast gameplay, unique features, and huge arsenal of weapons gripped him so much that he turned his back on a game he put thousands of hours into: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
In that regard, there are likely many people out there who are similar to Legendary117s. But their stories are nothing like his. That’s because he’s the player who has the highest lifetime kills in all of Warzone. The Israeli streamer tops the charts for total kills in the game, with over 114,000 at the time of writing. While several of Warzone’s biggest streamers and pro players, such as Charlie ‘MuTex’ Saouma, Jordan ‘HusKerrs’ Thomas, and Drew ‘Frozone’ Bienusa, float around the top of the total kills leaderboard, Legendary117s’ kill count dwarfs theirs.
In the year since Warzone released, he has dedicated more than 2,300 hours (that’s over 95 days) into becoming the game’s number one slayer. But where did his obsession with the game stem from?
In his late teens, Legendary117s began working towards his dream of a career in esports. After racking up a LAN tournament win in the fleeting esports scene of first-person shooter Evolve, everything was put on hold after he was called up for mandatory military service aged just 18.
Although it took three years for him to finish his service, Legendary117s kept his dream of going pro alive. He racked up thousands of hours playing PUBG, and despite getting to a pretty high level, he admits he “missed the train” when it came to making it as a pro – the scene was already established and the path to the top became a long, challenging hike that seemed almost impossible. But, the Isreali didn’t give up hope, and a couple of years later, another train pulled into the station – Warzone.
“The first time I played it and compared it to PUBG, it seemed like the perfect game,” Legendary117s tells The Loadout. “PUBG was full of bugs. It wasn’t consistent. It was too slow. It had gotten old already, but Warzone was so fresh and it was working great. It was so much fun. And you had so much to do compared to PUBG. I went back to PUBG maybe twice, just to see what’s up, and I couldn’t play it. I couldn’t understand how I played it and why I took the time to [try and go pro] in it.”
From the get go, Legendary117s was hooked on Warzone, and soon realised that this could be the game where he makes a name for himself. Within the first day of the game being fully released, he was top of the global leaderboard for total score earned in Warzone. However, the goal of becoming number one for total kills only manifested itself towards the end of 2020. It was then that he fully focused on topping the leaderboard – but it involved an arduous, back and forth battle with another Middle Eastern streamer.
80K kills let’s go! pic.twitter.com/8Zy1dLPWOJ
— Sahar Cohen (@Legendary117S) November 11, 2020
“If you asked me about six months ago, I wouldn’t expect myself to pass the player that was number one for kills, which was Turkish player ‘forpantheon’,” Legendary117s explains. “Then about four months ago I finally got to close the gap between myself and forpantheon and I don’t know what happened but he stopped playing for a little while and I got past him to the top spot. And then two weeks later, he passed me. It happened again and again. Then one time I overtook him and I started to make the gap bigger and bigger and bigger. I think now it’s about 6,000 kills between him and I.”
But how does one pull out such a lead and keep it? While playing a lot of Warzone helps, it’s what you do in that time that can see you land high kill counts every match you play.
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Along with a “full send” attitude and never actually focusing on the win, Legendary117s has a few specific routines every time he drops into Verdansk.
“I have a couple of ways to start a game,” he says. “Obviously, the first is to land Superstore, kill as many as you can, get a loadout, and go on a bounty hunt. After four or five bounties you should have like $100,000 between all your teammates and that’s enough for like 20 UAVs. With 20 UAVs you can basically clear an entire match.
“The other secret [when playing anything other than solos] is a helicopter/bounty combo. So what we basically do is we drop at either Hospital or Airport. One guy goes for the bounty and I go for the nearest helicopter. The bounty target is usually mid-air, so I slice them [as they’re floating] and we get enough money for a loadout. Very quickly, we get a loadout and then we start to do another bounty. This is a good way to get a lot of kills as you’re the first team in the game to get a loadout.”
While Warzone kill records in individual matches are often widely celebrated by the Warzone community, Legendary117s’ achievement flies relatively under the radar. He may not get as much recognition as, say, Aydan ‘Aydan’ Conrad and friends setting a new Quads record of 162 kills in a single game, but Legendary117s says he is “very proud” of being number one.
He’s not stopping there though – the now 23-year-old still has his sights on a competitive gaming career. His escapades in Verdnask have led to invites from the likes of Toronto Ultra and Twitch Rivals for big Warzone tournaments. While Legendary117s “full send” attitude has cost him quite a few of these tournaments, he’s honest enough to recognise that things need to change if Warzone is to succeed as a competitive title.
“I would [improve] private games, definitely,” Legendary117s says. He adds that he would add custom settings to control variables such as bounties, cash drop rates, circle closing times, and more.
— Toronto Ultra (@TorontoUltra) March 1, 2021
He strongly believes that a Warzone esports scene where the best players were constantly playing each other in private lobbies, rather than public lobby kill racing, would really prove who the best players are.
“Sure it’s not gonna be as crazy [to watch] as kill racing – we’re not gonna see like a guy doing 1v4s every two seconds,” Legendary117s admits. “But we will see the best battle royale players showing us how a battle royale should be played. Let’s actually give [the top players] a challenge – show everyone you can win against people who can actually shoot back and position themselves in the zone properly.”
Despite putting so much time and effort into what is essentially the biggest and longest kill race in the game, Legendary117s’ desire to elevate competitive Warzone to a new level and move away from the kill-focused formats we see today shows he is ready to push himself.
With a potentially successful career in esports hampered by military conscription in his home country, and missing out on the golden age of competitive PUBG, Warzone could be Legendary117s final chance to realise his dream.
While he describes topping the total kills leaderboard as his “best achievement” in life to date, it appears to exist solely as proof and self-motivation that he can become a widely regarded professional player. While he may have lost the chance to board the PUBG train, Legendary177s hopes that his unrivalled kill count has punched his ticket for Warzone well in advance.