It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I was just playing FIFA with my mates, back home in Devon.
Now, I’m preparing to represent my country in this new tournament, the eNations Cup, in what has been a great year for me so far.
It was great to qualify for this one, I remember the semi-finals and finals to become an eLion because I’d just won a worldwide tournament in Singapore the week before and by the time I got back to England, I was still a bit jet-lagged. It was a great few days though.
It’ll be up there as one of my favourite moments so far, along with representing Liverpool. That’s my nation and my club, so it’s a dream come true really.
You’re probably wondering how this has all happened? I suppose I was the same as any other kid, just wanting to be a footballer, but then things happened and I ended up turning a pro at FIFA instead!
I never set out to be a professional gamer, as I said, it was just playing with my mates at first but when it got to the stage that I was beating all of them quite easily, I realised I might be quite good.
So I just looked into entering a few online tournaments, smaller ones with like £100 prize money for winning.
I just went for it and managed to win the first one that I ever did. I didn’t know who I was playing at the time, I just went into it and tried to beat everyone. Apparently there were some big players involved and I started to look at trying to qualify for the biggest tournaments.
I managed to sneak into the first few and I’ve just played well since then, but it was January 2018 when things really started to take off when I went to my first major tournament in Barcelona.
When I arrived there, I was the underdog. Nobody knew who I was. But I managed to go through with no pressure from anyone else and then I won it, and suddenly people started to know who I was. Since then, everything’s been so hectic and crazy.
After I won that first tournament, people at home were shocked, I remember they all had me on their SnapChat stories when I did it. But now, they’re used to it.
I grew up in a place called Dawlish, near Exeter, for the first 15 years of my life, but I’ve been all over the place recently.
We moved to Wolverhampton, because that’s where my mum is from and as I grew up, she wanted to go back to where her family lived.
And it was while I was living there, that I signed for F2 and then I moved to Hertfordshire to be more involved with them.
But this year, with all the tournaments all over the place, there was no point being there so I’ve moved back to Wolverhampton.
Since FIFA 19 came out, I’ve reached nine semi-finals in a row and I’ve managed to win five tournaments this year.
There’s a bit more pressure and high expectation that comes with it now, and I did struggle with that in a couple of tournaments after my first, but you sort of learn how to deal with that and I don’t really feel it anymore.
I try to take it in my stride. Last year, I didn’t qualify for the best tournament which is the major at the end of the year, so I’ve already felt the lowest of the lows in eSports FIFA.
So I know that any loss I take now, it isn’t going to be as hard as it was last year. I’m not really scared of losing anymore, which makes me play a lot better.
It’s the best you’ll get if you’re not a pro footballer, being an eSports player and representing England. So I’m delighted to be representing England and now I just want to perform in the tournament and bring it home.
Our group’s difficult, we have one of the best players in the world from last year involved, as we’re playing Saudi Arabia, France, South Africa and Finland. A lot of people are saying it’s the group of death, but hopefully me and FutWizTom can get through
I’m living my dream, it’s the closest thing to football so I’m enjoying it.
Find out more about the FIFA eNations Cup and how you can follow the tournament this weekend.