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ISSUE002JULY 2018

KURT0411

He’s on a mission to start a revoloution

MegaBit

Global Series Playoffs winner

Crafty95 An underdog ready to leave his mark

eWorld Cup 2018

WHO WILL BE COWNED CHAMPION


LETTER FROM THE

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EDITOR


Publisher

Justin Lawson

justinlawson@blackknightmedialtd.com Tel: +44 (0)203 750 6028 Twitter: @esportsWorldFC The eWorld Cup is nearly upon us and here at Esports World Football and we can’t wait for it to get started. Some 32 of the best FIFA players will come together at London’s O2 as they look to become the next World Champion. The fact that the tournament will be taking place at the world famous venue in London shows the popularity of eSports and just how far it has come, the players are already earning a certain celebrity status and with so many outstanding performances from the 32 participants, this year, it really is hard to call just who will come out on top. The Germans have the biggest representation in the competition and we talk to the Global Playoffs Series winner Megabit, as he looks to continue his success from Amsterdam.

Editor

Chris Lafferty

chrislafferty@blackknightmedialtd.com Tel: +44 (0)203 750 6024 Twitter: @esportsWorldFC1

Website and magazine designer Steven Lafferty

design@blackknightmedialtd.com Tel: +44 (0)7843 811 240 Twitter: @esportsWorldFC2

We also talk to this month’s cover star Kurt0411 about rage quitting and how he wants to start a FIFA revolution. www.esportsworldfootball.com

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Die ganze Arbiet

Earlier this year Michael ‘MegaBit’ Bittner won the FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs and he tells us all about it


COVER STORY 10 NEWS 6 INTERVIEWS 12 14 16 19 20 22 24 On the spot

Self professed ‘Demi-God’ Kurt0411 discusses rage quitting, the eWorld Cup and the ability to smash Pro Clubs at will

News round-up

Get all the latest news from the world of FIFA

Luke ‘Crafty’ Craft

Can the man from Cornwall walk away from London and finish the year as the 2018 eWorld Cup champion?

MICHAEL LABELLE

The Houston native gave us his final assessment on FIFA 18 and told us what he is expecting from FIFA 19 on its official release

The VFL

Aaron Baker discusses the progress of The Virtual Football League in the Pro Club community and getting the game mode more exposure

The Toffees on PS4

Esports World Football spoke to the co-managers of the PS4 team VFL Everton to discuss the upcoming season, recent trials and their future aims

eCherries

Esports World Football’s Justin Lawson caught up with Daniel Hurtig aka Mokum031, manager of VFL Bournemouth, to talk season 34 of the VFL

Cod Army on the march

VFL Fleetwood Town is manager Eddie Carter, speaks about its last season and what to expect in the coming season

Sowing the seeds of greatness

Kaden FM manager of the Farmers VPG eSports team discusses how the newly formed team coped on their debut season and plans for future domination

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Cool AF name and can they play

With one of the most lit names in FIFA VPG, Dirty 30’s manager Ste Skilling talks L2 North, the team’s debut season and squad goals


Yimmie aiming to conquer the eDivisie PS4 specialist Jimmy Donkers aka Yimmie has signed for Feyenoord and will be representing the team in the coming eDivisie season. Earlier this month Yimmie had booked his place in the eWorld Cup Grand Final that is taking place at the O2 in London at the beginning of August.

Commenting on his move Yimmie added: “With a lot of pride I can say that I will be playing for this beautiful club again next year I will also make my debut in the @E_Divisie on the PS4 I want to thank @ teamBundled and @Feyenoord for the opportunity and trust they have given me!”

U’s gain promotion Oxford United’s eSports side won promotion at their first attempt, finishing second in the VPG League One South. Promotion has seen them enter the Championship South this coming season where they will face a sterner test. Oxford scored nine goals in three different games, hit eight on two occasions and also scored 121 league goals.

Director Damon Graham is reported as saying “With five games to go we were one point ahead of Elite but they beat us 1-0 to go clear at the top. We won 3-0 in the following game and then won emphatically 9-1 in a game we dominated.

The side lost just twice in the league all season, both times to the eventual champions, Elite.

“In a second against third clash we went 1-0 up but were pegged back by a late goal to draw 1-1 with Red Birds. In the last game of the season we wanted to end on a high, which we did, beating Warriors Elite 5-1.”

FC Bayern Munich’s club president veto’s eSports plan

VFL Wolfsburg partners up with Vodafone

Having been poised to enter the eSports industry it now looks as if German football club FC Bayern Munich have scrapped their plans.

The club was the first German Bundesliga side to enter the eSports arena back in 2015 and have recently launched Wolves E-Academy, a FIFA eSports team that develops budding talent in FIFA.VFL Wolfsburg’s existing sponsors include CosmosDirekt, UPS Germany, effect, and Turtle Beach.

With plenty of traditional football teams getting involved with esports, Ajax and Man City already have their very own pro esport players, Germany’s biggest club Bayern Munich have decided not to follow suit if reports in German paper Blind are anything to go by. VFL Wolfsburg, RB Leipzig and FC Schalke 04, already have their own professional eSports departments and reports suggested that FC Bayern had put aside a budget of five million euros to fund and buy esports stars to compete at the highest level.

Dr. Tim Schumacher, managing director of VFL Wolfsburg stated: “We have already worked together on many exciting projects and are looking forward to implementing them very soon and sharing them with our fans. The commitment of a company like Vodafone is, not the least, a clear indication of just how rapidly developments in esports are currently proceeding and shows us that we are already on the right path.”


2016 eWorld Cup Damian Augustyniak Champion leaves Ares joins Roma Fnatic Mohamad Al-Bacha, former FIFA eWorld Cup Champion, has left Ares.

19 year old Polish PlayStation gamer Damian Augustyniak who goes by Damie has announced he has joined AS Roma Fnatic.

Commenting on his Twitter account Al-Bacha said: “It’s been a journey with a lot of nice experiences, but it’s time to move on and find new challenges. I will be very motivated for FIFA 19.”

Augustyniak, previously represented Nordavind, made his Giallorossi debut at the FIFA Global Series Playoffs in Amsterdam. His last appearance as a Nordavind player was at the Gfinity Elite Series, a competition which ‘Zimme’ and ‘Rannerz’ eventually won.

Ozil lets us know The venue for the finals of the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 has just been released in a video introduced by FIFA eWorld Cup ambassador and Arsenal player Mesut Ozil. The finals will be played at the O2 Arena which is a multipurpose indoor arena located in the centre of The O2 entertainment complex on the Greenwich Peninsula in south east London. Earlier this year we saw 32 players across Xbox and PlayStation qualify for the finals with MegaBit winning the FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs on Xbox and ‘Nicolas99FC’ on PlayStation 4.

At the time of joining he added on his twitter: “I’m delighted to announce that I’m joining @RomaFnatic / @FNATIC as their new FIFA player. This is huge step forward for me and I know that we will achieve a lot together. Let’s start with the Playoff Event in Amsterdam!” #RomaSiamoNoi


Die ganze Arbeit Earlier this year Michael ‘MegaBit’ Bittner won the FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs and he tells us all about it


BY JUSTIN LAWSON

Earlier this year you became the FIFA 18 GLOBAL SERIES Playoffs Xbox Champion, how did that feel?

If you could change one thing about FIFA what would it be and why?

It felt really amazing. I realised that all the hard work I’ve been putting into learning the game was completely worth it!

I would like to change the current system of game modes in Ultimate Team where you only have the Weekend League worth playing to seriously improve your squad by simply playing the game.

Did that tournament go better than expected? What were your expectations going into the tournament? I knew I was capable of going all the way, but the main aim was to reach the final 16 on Xbox and to qualify for the FIFA eWorld Cup Finals in London! After doing that, I wasn’t nervous anymore as I knew I would get my chance at becoming a world champion two months later. This made me feel really comfortable, allowing me to play my best FIFA during the knockout stage!

You can just play seasons, draft or against friends during the week. There needs to be way more competitive modes to play on the highest level in game modes all the time.

Why is the German FIFA scene so strong right now? We have a huge community with many different leagues like Virtual Bundesliga or ESL Championship, this allows all the top players to

MEGABIT As one of the favourites for the eWorld Cup in August is there anyone you would rather not face? I don’t want to play against Nraseck as I think he’s the most consistent player in terms of balancing his gameplay and waiting for his opportunity.

How would you describe your style of play? I always try to pressure my opponent to get back possession and then play forward as fast as possible, doing moves my opponent either doesn’t predict or just isn’t able to defend.

play each other under the circumstances of a competition. Through these experiences you learn what you need to do and how you need to behave to have success at huge tournaments.

How do you view the pro club scene (VPG, VFL)? It’s nice to see the development of competitive leagues for various game modes within FIFA.

Is there much of a difference in skill level between pro club gamers and the 1v1 competitors?

Who are your go to players in your FUT team?

Yes, there is! Every 1v1 pro is able to control one player in a 11v11 match really good.

My go to players this year have been TOTY Cristiano Ronaldo and TOTS Neymar!

But not every 11v11 pro is able to control 10 players at the same time in a 1v1 match really good.

How have you been preparing for London and is it the same as any tournament you enter?

What is your views on FIFA 19 from what you have seen so far?

My grind for London started in July as I’m trying to get back into rhythm from a three week break by playing other pros and Weekend League! Playing against pros is the best preparation.

I think the new gameplay features will be very nice. I’m looking forward the most to seeing how timed finishing will work in-game! EWF

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If you were to start a revolution with the aim of changing FIFA what would you most want to change and why? I’ve already started a revolution, we will not have another year like this I’m sure of that. There’s a lot of things I want changing but if I had to pick one it would be to have fun, fast and responsive gameplay.

Do you think competitive FIFA is getting to political? I wouldn’t say that no. For us players its really simple: if you’re good enough you will qualify to events and subsequently receive offers to represent teams. On the other hand yes, there are people within the scene who have a certain influence that have no idea what’s best for competitive FIFA.

You rage quit at the recent FIFA eClub World Cup, why? Well yes, it’s not just that I conceded 3 kick off goals, it’s the way the whole game went. With all due respect to my opponent he had no right even being on the same pitch as me and something that is out of control ends up costing me the title. Although contrary to popular belief I did actually end up sitting back down and “finishing” the game!

Do you think your actions will make a difference, would you do it again? Yes, as I said earlier, I have kick-started a revolution, unfortunately I’m the only one in the scene who has the balls to stand up for what is right so yes I would 100 percent do it again.

ON THE SPOT

KURT ‘KURT 0411’ FENECH


BY JUSTIN LAWSON

You say you’re going to London not just to win but to end careers, any players in particular, or just anyone who gets in your way? Anyone that gets in my way.

What’s your view on the Pro Club scene? I’m sure a lot of them enjoy virtually representing Real Madrid to virtually win the Champions League but its not for me unfortunately

How have you been preparing for London? I have spent a bit of time playing other pro’s and top players in practice games to get ready for London.

As the best who would you say is the second best FIFA player? Impossible to tell this year. EWF

Is there a difference in skill level between pro club gamers and the 1v1 competitors or is it just different? Night and day. I could assemble a team of pro’s to take on their best 11 and we’ll send them from virtually representing Real Madrid to Eibar real quickly. Whereas if they come over to my world it will be the last game of FIFA they will ever play.

In the upcoming World Cup you are one of the favourites, who do you see as your main competition? MegaBit, Dossary and Gorilla.

How would you describe your style of play? Unique and unmatchable. I don’t have to abuse any of the game’s flaws to be successful while the rest of them have no choice but to, to survive.

Who are your go to players in your FUT team? Both Ronaldo’s and Sergio Ramos.

abuse any of to e v a h ’t n o d I ws to be the game’s fla hile the rest successful w no choice of them have

Self professed ‘Demi-God’ Kurt0411 discusses rage quitting, the eWorld Cup and the ability to smash Pro Clubs at will www.esportsworldfootball.com

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An underdog story Luke ‘Crafty’ Craft When it comes to competition we all love a good underdog story. Luke ‘Crafty’ Craft’s, aim at the start of this year was to make an event. He ended up getting T16 in Barcelona, T32 in Manchester and T16 in Amsterdam. Can the man from Cornwall walk away from London and finish the year as the 2018 eWorld Cup champion?

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BY CHRIS LAFFERTY

How excited are you about playing at the FIFA eWorld Cup? I’m very excited to be playing at the FIFA eWorld Cup grand final, as it’s by far the most important tournament I’ve played in.

Can you tell us about your journey to the eWorld Cup and how you got there? My journey to the eWorld Cup was good fun and qualifying for the play offs through the last chance weekend was the most nervous I’ve been the whole year playing FIFA.

How are you preparing for the tournament? I’m preparing the same as the other events, just playing my mates and pros when I can.

Qualifying for the play offs through the la st chance we e ke n d was the mos t nervous I’ve b ee n the whole ye ar

The group you have drawn is full of some big names is that daunting or does it spur you on to prove how good you are? The group definitely is a bit daunting, but I play best when I feel there’s no pressure on me, so hopefully I can do well.

Who is your main competition in the tournament? He’s not really my competition, but I’d like to get a win against Raseck.

How would you describe your style of play? I don’t really have a set style of play to be honest; I just try to do whatever works in that game.

The Germans have plenty of qualifiers can you bring it home for England? Yeah it would be nice for a English player to win the event, could be tough with the amount of Germans. EWF

finitely is The group de , but I play a bit daunting el there’s no best when I fe e pressure on m

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FIFA 19

MICHAEL LABELLE NEW YORK RED BULLS With FIFA 19 on the horizon Esports World Football took time out to speak with New York Red Bull athlete and YouTube sensation Michael LaBelle. The Houston native gave us his final assessment on FIFA 18 and told us what he is expecting from FIFA 19 on its official release.


BY CHRIS LAFFERTY

TALKS FIFA 19 “I’m looking forward to making sure we push the culture forward.” Having played FIFA 18 over the past year what’s your final assessment of it?

On a personal level what would you like to see in FIFA 19?

FIFA 18 lacks the skill gaps necessary for true eSports in my opinion. I’m very curious to see what happens with FIFA 19, because EA is pushing the eSports initiative heavily since the announcement of FIFA Ultimate Team Champions. I hope that EA can master the art of balance with next year’s title.

Weekend league extension. Larger skill gaps . New matchmaking A weekday league. New skill moves. To name a few

Does FIFA get better each year, or is there a particular year that really stood out for you? I’m a gameplay enthusiast. I still have a lot of love for some of the faster paced titles, even though they weren’t the most realistic simulations. I still remember playing FIFA 2008 for countless hours, because that title was the first time we saw “TRUE SKILL MOVES” and in more recent time, FIFA 15 WAS AMAZING! Very fast paced with a lot of action and the ability to score beautiful goals in each match.

As a YouTube star will you be getting an early copy of FIFA 19?

How long does it take for you to master FIFAhen the latest edition comes out? Every title is different. I would say most professional players start to show promise in the 1st month after launch. But the word “MASTER” is very specific. I would expect professional players to need a few months to truly master gameplay.

Out of all the new features revealed by EA Sports what one are you forward to using the most? It’s so hard to judge gameplay until you get to LAUNCH! So… the announcement of the Champions League is the BIG MOVE so far in my opinion.

If you were a developer at EA Sports what would you implement into the game?

I doubt I will get FIFA 19 earlier than the rest of the world, however I was able to capture footage from the EA capture event last year prior to the launch, but I didn’t have the title at home ahead of time.

Obviously, my opinion is biased, but I would be restructuring the qualifying format for competitive events. The weekend league needs an overhaul. More time. Matchmaking improvements and a secondary qualification system.

What do you expect from FIFA 19

What plans have you got for the future?

I’m expecting some changes regarding the competitive game modes and of course we have the announcement confirming Champions League in FIFA 19.

I’m looking forward to making sure we push the culture forward. I’ve always used my voice to help players get better and develop Esports in the FIFA world. Expect to see more of the same! EWF

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THE VFL

Aaron Baker discusses the progress of The Virtual Football League in the Pro Club community and getting the game mode more exposure. Tell us about the VFL? The Virtual Football League (VFL) was formed by a close friend of mine Ryan Gobble and myself way back during FIFA 12. I believe it was around March time when the game was just entering that phase of not really offering much, and we thought, yeah, this idea will make it interesting. We took motivation from what sites like FVPAA were doing in America, we added our own twist to it and launched a free basic website literally the night after talking about it. It seems so long ago, but there we were at all hours messaging our recent players, explaining this concept to them, the concept of this ‘online career mode’ that we wanted to do, and people bought into it.

thankfully due to our awesome outreach and community, that number continues to grow every day. It covers both leading consoles, Xbox One and PS4. Xbox 360 is where we originally started, so that is naturally bigger with 12 divisions, while PS4 VFL was formed in 2015 and sits at 8 divisions. Team wise combined we’re roughly at around 400 teams and this has been a fairly stable number for us. We could go higher and really push it, but for us it’s not about a number, it’s about the stability, the quality, and many more underlying factors. I think that’s showcased by our management selection process. In terms of countries, VFL is mostly scaled towards Europeans, and most commonly players within the UK. We’re in talks for some exciting American expansion during FIFA 19, but it’s still early days so can’t comment too much.

How long does a season last? Talk us through it. A season typically for us lasts around five weeks, but of course for

I think we look back and say that we were lucky in a sense. We were the first people to do this in the UK, and because of that it was new, fresh, and the Pro Clubs community (which was tiny back then) got involved.

the admin team, the fun never really stops due to the amount of stuff we have to do behind the curtain. In terms of how it works, I’ll assume you mean from the perspective of a player.

To answer the question though, in terms of what VFL is, just imagine a system where you build up your own story, where you decide if you want to play for your favourite team like VFL Everton, or if you want to work your way up from the lower leagues and teams, to eventually compete in the Champions League with a club like VFL Real Madrid. From a contract system, to a transfer system, we pretty much have as much as we can involve to create as much of an immersive experience as we can for the players.

How big has it become?

So the season will kick off on a set date which is picked out by the admins, fixtures will be populated and then appear for the players via our web app, and from there, it’s all about team prep for our managers. Games for us are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (with cup games on a Wednesday), so when those days come, the teams will use the app to know who they’re playing and at what time, initiate communication with the other team’s manager, and at that set time on the day invite them to play. After that, stats are collected by managers, put into our app, and voila, that’s a game done.

Fantastic question. We currently have had 122,660 sign-ups, but as we reject duplicate accounts, banned player accounts, and regularly keep the site clean and trim, we sit at 58,583 live players. However,

That system pretty much repeats itself for four domestic league weeks, with each team in the division playing each other once (or twice in some of the smaller leagues). After that initial four week

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BY JUSTIN LAWSON period, we have one extra week for our European knockout games, like the Champions League Round of 16 etc. In between and after that, you have all sorts of events, stuff like the VFL transfer window which allows clubs to use budget earned through high finishes and cup wins to buy and sell players to other teams as they please. You also have stuff like contract renegotiations where managers will try and tie down their players to another season at the club before they drop into free agency and have the ability to play elsewhere. There really is a lot!

How do you differ from other virtual leagues? The biggest and most obvious difference between VFL and other leagues out there is the day and time structure. For us, we’ve been running the Friday-Saturday-Sunday pattern since 2012. People know us and identify with us for that and we’ve never had a problem, so we are essentially the heavyweight that anchors those days. Other leagues, whether that be the big supported ones like VFO, or the international ones like EGN and FVPAA have structured themselves to be mid-week to suit their community and their demographic, which is awesome because all of these leagues offer something different, and cater to specific needs. I am happy to say I have a great relationship with all of them. Other than the different days, times, and community, there really are very minor differences other than that, one noticeable one being the custom team name platform, but alas, a lot of leagues like FVPAA and ourselves tend to do a mixture of both. For example, the FVPAA will offer the ACL and AVL, the ACL is what they use for their actual club names, and the AVL is what they use for fantasy. Much the same where VFL is used for stuff like VFL Arsenal, and VFLC is used for stuff like Wonderkids, Lucid, et etc.

Do you have any real football clubs entering teams into your leagues? How close do the real football clubs work with esports teams? Obviously due to agreements, I cannot say too much on this. I have been flown out to countries before to discuss the whole possibility of this type of thing, I’ve also had meetings with certain football clubs, including two within the Premier League. The thing that I will say, and that the community probably won’t like, is that the talks although interesting never came to fruition either due to frustration on my end, or demands from the club. For me, esports is still a relatively new ideology for people within corporates. I think everyone knows that. For me, I see no real benefit at all to players and the Pro Clubs community as a whole when the clubs say that they have no interest to really identify with the players, and it’s all purely about their brand exposure. I can understand that

from a business perspective if it was Fifa Ultimate Team (FUT), but Clubs is still so relatively unknown that you can’t honestly look at it and say “Pro Clubs will expose this brand”. That idea will only occur when EA seriously get involved with it. I could talk about this for hours because I feel so strongly about it. But for me, I want to make decisions for my community that make sense. Players representing a ‘club’ that does not offer a lot, and doesn’t want to get to know their players or even have a detailed system to assist in picking players. This just doesn’t interest me, nor do I see any benefit for the players, whether that be financial benefit or the benefit of building a career off of the back of it through platforms like YouTube. An example of when it’s done properly could be Optic, all you have to do is look how that organisation pushed someone like Scumpi to the point where he has a big YouTube platform. That isn’t what it’s like right now from the football clubs. There are some outliers though, for example, what VFO have in place with clubs in Spain where the players may get a stadium tour of the club that signs them, or a free shirt/tickets to a game, that is brilliant. In the UK, the closest we have to that currently is Fleetwood Town, and the only reason I say that is because a guy like Sam Fielding actually does care enough to put in a system where he talks to the players, he doesn’t just brush off the recruitment and whoever joins joins, he is actually very involved, and he should be proud of himself for that, a lot of clubs could learn from that.

What cup competitions do you run? Currently we have the below list as active cup competitions; • • •

The VFL FA Cup The VFL Carabao Cup The VFL Checkatrade Trophy

• • • • • • •

The VFL DfB Pokal The VFL Coppa Italia The VFL Copa del Rey The VFL Coupe de France The VFL Coupe de la Ligue The VFL Europa League The VFL Champions League

Of course, there are others like the Community Shield etc etc, but these are the domestic cup competitions which run throughout and stretch throughout the entire season.

What does the future hold for the VFL? The future is something that depends upon the direction of FIFA and EA. It really is that simple, for all we know, EA could introduce a 5v5 FIFA Street mode, if they do, that’d be a great direction to go down on top of 11v11. But honestly, as gaming communities we take it year by www.esportsworldfootball.com

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THE VFL year as for a strategic plan due to the lack of communication EA has with the FIFA community. Ideally, 11v11 is still the game mode of Pro Clubs in FIFA 19 and beyond and we can continue to build on what we have now, but honestly, it really does depend on what they do.

Do the leagues have sponsors? The VFL overall is sponsored by CardsPlug which is a fantastic custom FUT card delivery service. Other than that, my guys over at VFLC (most notable Dave Skinner) have some great ties to Gfinity and has some exciting stuff in the pipeline which we can’t speak about at this moment in time. The most important thing to us about ‘sponsors’ is just making sure the fit is right and that it puts enough shine on the game mode. There have been opportunities in the past where I could have slapped something on VFL and made a really nice return financially, but I never did it because it just wouldn’t give enough shine to Pro Clubs in general. That’s the aim for me, pushing to make this game mode known, and with that, every decision has to be viewed in that strategic direction.

How do you compare 11v11 to 1v1 gaming? I think both are fantastic in my honest opinion. You’ll have the elitist that will bash one and praise the other, but both are their own separate crafts. You have fantastic and talented guys like Shellz who are absolute monsters at both, but in all honesty, you can’t compare the two. For both, you need determination, willpower, and intelligence to play and get through the grind. But for me personally, I love team sports, I grew up playing team sports, and I love that whole element of 11v11 where you learn your teammates, you gain a chemistry and you see continuous strides in improvement month on month (if you’re doing it properly). Regardless though, both great, and both have their individual pros and cons for sure.

Some gamers have been rather outspoken about the skill gap comparing Pro Club to Solo— what is your view on this? I think regarding this, it’s mostly ignorance from the solo community, because you’ll never see anybody from the world of Pro Clubs speak badly about the guys playing FUT. For the most part, the guys on Clubs respect the hustle and the fact those guys are playing a game and can forge a career out of an EA supported mode. Why? Because it’s something that we as an 11v11 community crave. I can see both points of view for this ‘skill gap’, but in honest reality, there hasn’t been a real skill gap in FIFA for years, I’m probably talking 18

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back in the old days of FIFA. That’s just part and parcel in modern day gaming because companies want their game to be able to be picked up and played by anyone. To say that it takes skill to play one game mode over the other is preposterous. The only thing for my personal opinion that I see is the artificial intelligence assistance on FUT. You have the ability to sit off and let the computer defend for you at times, whereas on Clubs, playing 11v11 there is nowhere to hide, if you have a weak link at RB you’re going to know at some point in the game that the weak link exists, does that make sense? Regardless, I respect both game modes, and I do very much think that regardless of logistics and regardless of expenses for the company, 11v11 gaming will be an esport soon. All it needs is that one push from EA and it will explode.

What would you like FIFA to do to improve? Where do I begin? There is so much! I think what everyone will say in general is to start with is the gameplay. For me, FIFA 18 strikes me as a game that tried too hard to be the entertaining eSport game. Attacking became extremely easy, and that (in my opinion) was to try and make FUT tournaments more exciting, but in reality, all we got was a bunch of 6-4 games, 5-3 games, etc etc. We want the focus and tactics of football back where you grind and work for a result, rather than seeing 200 goals per game. Beyond that, you look at the silly stuff that still exists today. Referees having multi-coloured arms and no face. The issue of goal posts just being randomly pushed 10 yards back, or just not being on the pitch at all. The issue of stuff like the Pro Clubs skill progression just being broke for seven months. So so much man, honestly. The important thing though for the Clubs community is common sense fixes. By that, I mean that issues that were present at the start of FIFA 18 for Clubs needs to be patched, issues like the friendly glitch that halted leagues all over the globe for several months. I honestly believe that 90 percent of the Pro Clubs community would be happy if FIFA 19 was a gameplay tweak, with friendlies working off the bat, a bit more detailed kit customisation and a bit of a revamp on the Pro Clubs skill tree again.

Will we see micro-transactions in Pro Clubs? I think it would be big to get the game mode more exposure, but for now I honestly can’t see it being a big necessity that EA do. However I think it does need to happen eventually. But yeah, for me, gameplay fixes, friendly fixes, tweaks to the skill tree, and kit customisation and I’ll be a happy man until FIFA 20. EWF


The Toffees on PS4 Esports World Footballs caught up with Jamie March (MarchyyFIFA) and James Wood (Jwoody25ns), co-managers of the PS4 team VFL Everton to discuss the upcoming season, recent trials and their future aims. Tell us about the team? Having been involved with a number of VFL teams after leaving VFL Liverpool James Wood (Jwoody25ns) and myself (MarchyyFIFA) got the opportunity to take on the role of developing VFL Everton into a force in the Premier League!

Which of the VFL leagues do you currently play in? We currently play in the PS4 Premier League.

How did the last season go? The old manager did pretty well, took the club to 4th in the PS4 Premier League, runners up in the FA cup and Semi Finalists in the Europa League. So a lot to live up to.

What was the level of competition like?

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far as a team? Coming up against the likes of VFL Man City who are the best team on the PS4 side winning every trophy possible last season. Almost like in the real Premier League.

Who do you rate as the best player in your side? It’s hard to say because we all play together, as a team! So it’s more of 11 best players instead of 1.

How about what the most crucial position to have a strong player in is? Our defence, to win games it starts from the back, you are not going to lose if you don’t let any goals in.

What formation do you prefer and why? 4-2-3-1 Is our favoured formation. It just allows us to be narrow defending and then counter attack when we have the ball using the width stretching their defence.

What is the best team you have faced?

Very tough. Any one of six or seven teams are good enough to win this league so it makes for a very exciting upcoming season.

Domestically VFL Man City and in Europe VFL Real Madrid

You chose the VFL over VPG and other formats, why?

How far do you think your team can go?

I just find the VFL more competitive in the sense that you can control the club you support using real life clubs and taking them to the top, in what many like me see as the most competitive weekend league in competitive Pro Clubs.

If we continue with our strong recruitment I’m sure we’ll be a tough side to face.

Who are your closest rivals?

To be honest it’s a hard one, these days everyone looks to compete with each other, VFL is different to VPG and any other league, VPG is mainly midweek, but they now have a weekend League but it’s no where near as big or as competitive as the VFL is. So VFL is the place to be! EWF

Everyone, we want to beat everyone equally as much. It has not quite got to the level where we have such strong rivalry as real football yet. 19

Esports World Football

What can the VFL do to develop the game further?


VFL BOURNEMOUTH

eCherries Esports World Football’s Justin Lawson caught up with Daniel Hurtig aka Mokum031, manager of VFL Bournemouth, to talk season 34 of the VFL, recent trials and their future plans The ‘real’ football club was formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. John’s Institute FC, they disbanded in 1899 and from the remains of that club, Boscombe FC were formed at a meeting under the streetlights in Gladstone Road, Boscombe.

computers would exist yet alone an online team called VFL Bournemouth.

The club went through further transition and only adopted their current name in 1972. Who back then would have thought

The team was founded by the Virtual Football League (VFL) and we unfortunately have no link to the real football club.

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Are there any links with the real football team?


BY JUSTIN LAWSON

Which of the VFL leagues do you currently play in and how did the last season go?

How do you select players when it comes to trials?

We play in the Championship.

I have recruited some players which I know and I have brought them into the squad, we played together in Swansea back in s32 when I was their manager. I look for experienced players with good personalities that will fit into our squad nicely.

Bournemouth had a tough season and finished 17th or something like that. I was not the manager of the team last season as I was co-manager at Liverpool.

Is it a highly competitive league?

How about what the most crucial position to have a strong player in is?

Yes it is, the Championship is a very competitive league, there are some good teams in our league and some good players as well.

Thats a very good question, I think you have to have decent players in all positions really, and then you have to learn to play together, we believe we are a team and not 11 egos and work hard on our team play.

You have to have decent players in all positions really, and then you have to learn to play together, we believe we are a team and not 11 egos

VFL over VPG why is that?

What formation do you prefer and why?

VFL , I like the fact that we are playing with ”real” Clubs, like Bournemouth, Liverpool, Real Madrid and so on.

4-2-3-1 narrow, we play this as it offers both width when needed and the ability to play narrow with two holding CDM’s to help out when defending. Its an good all round formation.

I have played VPG as well but I prefer VFL, I think its better organised, and in my opinion it also has a better online home page.

What is likely to be the biggest challenge you will face? We are trying to get the team together and build chemistry, and that can be a challenge. We are very optimistic that the more we play together the more we will develop it.

How far do you think your team can go? I think we can win the league this season. We are certainly going to go for it!

What can the VFL do to develop the game further? I am not sure, I think they are doing a good job to be honest. I think they are doing VFL better and better every new season with some small upgrades and tweaks to keep it improving after responding to feedback. EWF www.esportsworldfootball.com

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VFL FLEETWOOD TOWN

Cod Army on the march How did you come to run VFL Fleetwood Town? I took a break from VFL after getting banned from ‘Bottling Management’, after this, I was introduced to VFL Cadiz and made two appearances, scoring one goal in the Champions League. A few months later, Admin ‘Gringo’ put his faith in me to succeed and I was given a management opportunity again.

Is the championship league a highly competitive league? And is there a team you hate playing? It is a highly competitive league because of the standards people set in their teams including ours, people would give anything to get promoted on this site. By far the English leagues are the most challenging with loads of experienced players. There are teams I hate playing purely because the cup draw has given us Premier 22

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League teams in the past, and they’re at the top end of the site, tough, tough opponents to play against, no matter what team.

How did the last season go for the team? Last season was season 33, a challenging time for me and the players. We eventually finished 16th in the league. The top scorer I Mac 7 I shined for us, scoring 24 goals, not to mention the fine shot stopper vF Connor. A tricky season, we aimed for play-off spots but the class of other teams took the wind out of our sails. Now this season we are hopefully going to achieve our goals.

VFL over VPG why is that? Never really heard of VPG until YouTuber WorldOfJCC started playing for Fleetwood eSports.


BY JUSTIN LAWSON

I was introduced mainly to VFL by my friends telling me to join a club and make an account.

would normally reply with their position, age, etc. then we’d set up a trialling session with those players involved.

Also, VFL has that certain buzz about it, for example, training before a VFL game gets intense and everybody is focused on the task ahead.

What formation do you prefer and why?

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far as a team? The biggest challenge I’d say is that we always come up against hard teams in our league, and friendlies aren’t exactly easy depending on who you come up against. We try our hardest at all times but you just can’t win everything. Also, one of the toughest challenges has to be handling expectation, we’ve tried to be ambitious for the past two seasons but we haven’t succeeded quite as well as we’d liked to, staying up in our league is a big bonus for me.

We normally experiment with formations and see what fits us best, but now we are sticking to a 4-4-1-1 formation because we believe the CAM and the wingers can provide enough service to the striker, also the trickery on both flanks helps when you have clever players who can manoeuvre the ball efficiently, coming inside and switching up the passes on the pitch is crucial for me. We also look to have a solid back line, and with our experienced defenders, we hopefully can achieve this.

Can you reach the top flight? Get a spot in Europe? With enough guile and determination, we can hopefully reach play-off spots and get that promotion dream going, and look forward to season 35 on FIFA 19.

The real life version of VFL Fleetwood Town is managed by the cross between a maverick and lunatic Joey Barton. The far more sedate Eddie Carter, manager of VFL’s eSports team, speaks about its last season

Tell us about your end of season awards and who one what?

Getting a spot in Europe is a big task but you can never say never, we’ve seen this before though, it’ll take true quality.

At the end of season 33, we had select individual awards which were given to the players who rightly deserved them.

What can the VFL do to develop the game further?

I will start off with I Mac 7 I who won top scorer with 24 goals, secondly, most assists is Carter I 10 I with 15 assists, thirdly, the best defender award went to Tmoneycombs. vF Connor also grabbed Clubs golden glove award with 122 saves alongside Hammerheadboy6 who won the clubs’ best midfielder award.

How do you select players when it comes to trials? Normally, if we had vacant positions open in the team because of sales, we’d put a trialling thread up with the positions, people

Well, I wouldn’t say they should try to associate themselves with EA, because VFL has always been a separate community, and for me, I’d like it to stay that way. When new FIFA’s come out and more new features come out on pro clubs, I’m hoping the VFL can utilise these different features in different ways. To conclude, VFL is a fantastic platform for anyone looking to get competitive and meet new people online. Skill is also a must, it is getting harder and harder out there. EFW www.esportsworldfootball.com

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Farmers

Sowing the seeds of greatness Tell us about how the team came about and who chose the name?

What is the standard of opposition like?

The team came about from me and a few mates, and we just made a normal FIFA18 pro clubs team called “English Farmers”.

The standard of the opposition we played during last season was a weird one. A few potentially amazing teams and there were a few we lost and drew to where we felt we should of done a lot better. The Global League 1 was a strange but fun league.

It was going well and George and myself thought we could take it to VPG so we talked to the owner and he gave us the team called “Farmers eSports”

Why did you choose the VPG over VFL and other formats?

Last season which VPG league were you in and how did the team perform? Last season we got entered in to the lowest league in VPG called the Global League 1. We had a lot of ups and downs from back to back 5-0 losses at the start of the season, to beating top of the league who were undefeated 4-2. That pretty much sums up how our season went. We came 7th joint on points with 5th. If we were more consistent I believe we could have reached the promotion places.

And which league are you competing in next season and why the change? We are competing in the English L4 North. The change happened because VPG has adjusted it’s league structure, which in my opinion is for the better. The way it works now is it goes from the bottom, L6 all the way to the top of the eSports Prem. Our goal eventually is to get into the Esports Prem. 24

Esports World Football

I personally chose VPG over VFL as it gives you a chance to grow as a brand for the future to come and it is run very well. VFL was one of the first competitive leagues I played in and back then it was by far the biggest. However in my opinion VPG has grown hugely and moved onto another level and it continues to grow.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far as a team? The biggest challenge for sure was a huge disagreement with the co-founder George Burton. There was a period where we had a lot of players which can be good and bad. He felt at the time that there was to much squad rotation, whereas I felt towards the end of the season the rotation of players and the opportunity to try new things should be explored. This leads to the formation of the academy team so everyone gets to play.


BY JUSTIN LAWSON

Kaden FM manager of the Farmers VPG eSports team discusses how the newly formed team coped on their debut season and plans for future domination.

Tell us about the decision to launch an academy team?

How far do you think your team can go?

The decision to launch an academy team was easy. George and myself spoke about the idea and we were happy it would benefit all. A few players who didn’t get enough game time will move out of the first team into the academy team giving them more game time and the chance to improve and help make that team successful as well. This also gives us the room in the first team to look to recruit some high quality replacements.

We believe our team can climb all the way to the top of VPG. I think if you start something, you gotta aim for the top. We’re planning on staying as a team for a very long time, as long is everyone is committed and it ran smoothly.

What formation do you prefer and why? I don’t really have a favourite formation. I like 3-5-2 however on FIFA it’s a whole different story. 4-3-3 attack. If done right is what we’re planning on next season as it’s effective and suits our play style. It gives the wingers options to cut back and pass it to there CMS Or CAMS or to get in a hopeful cross to our ST who can also hold up the ball for runners.

What is the best team you have faced? There’s a lot of teams I’ve played which are amazing in a few other teams I’ve been in. But the best team we have played as Farmers eSports manager, was top of the league “FifaSlovenjia” who stepped down mid season. They were a very good Passing side. We won 4-2 at home where we defended very well and hit them on the break. We lost 3-1 away after going 1-0 up, we let them cut us apart with their passing from then on.

How would you like to see VPG develop? I want to see VPG develop lots of live esports events. I think 11 people vs 11 people would be more entertaining to watch than 1 pro player vs another. Of course all 22 players can’t go to the event so maybe 2 or 3 from each team could go whilst the rest stay at home. I’d also like to see VPG Working with some official football clubs. We already have a few and I’d love to see them work with a Premier League team. For them to continue getting more people involved in Pro Clubs and for VPG to expand there individual leagues as well would make it even better.

Recently I had a go at FIFA and lost 1-0 to my 8yr old. What tips can you give me and any new players to the game? The way I got better was just years of playing FIFA and gradually learning different things. I’ve played from FIFA 08 all the way till now. That’s 10 years. Of course there’s quicker ways to get better, by watching pro players where esports has grown into Ultimate team. Tips and trick videos could help as well. Pro clubs believe me or not has helped as well, where you learn different set piece tactics and also to learn to play with individual players properly. The way I’ve learned FIFA is just from playing for ages. EWF www.esportsworldfootball.com

25


DIRTY 30

Cool AF name and can they play How did the team come about and how did you end up running it? The team name came about because of what the manager of VFL Watford did: it was a dirty trick. I was promised by the VFL Watford manager that I could take over management at the end of Season 33. When that time came along I re-signed the best players from the season that had just ended, and looked to add some defensive players to strengthen the team. I took my time getting players in with trial matches, but, two weeks later, the manager said he’s not giving me the managers job and that he was staying on in the role. He even told me he wanted to keep the team that I had recruited. It’s an understatement to say I was gutted, but the lads I got in were brilliant and we all agreed to leave VFL Watford and 26

Esports World Football

have a mess around team until FIFA 19 comes out and try again then. Next thing you know I was messaging the Virtual Pro Gaming (VPG) admin to see if they could add my team to the VPG site.

How has the debut season started? Our debut season for Dirty 30 has started off really well. We won our first three games and we were sitting on top of the table. I say were—we just lost to the Cherries. One loss in four is not bad and hopefully we can get back on track with a win to get back on top.

Which of the VPG leagues do you currently play in and what are your squad goals for this season? We play in VPG North L2. Our squad goals for this season are simple—winning the league or play off. But we will take any loss like a team and come back stronger and win like a team.


BY JUSTIN LAWSON

With one of the most lit names in FIFA VPG, Dirty 30’s manager Ste Skilling talks L2 North, the team’s debut season and squad goals

Is it a highly competitive league? Is there a team you hate playing?

What a tense match that was well played by Ice eSports, they gave us a run for our money.

Yes it is highly competitive. As for a team we hate playing: the Cherries. Their manager was messaging me non-stop after the win. I know we’re a good team when we get that—he’s buzzing that his team beat us, so you’ve got to feel a little happy for them too.

How do you improve the chemistry in the team?

That bit was a joke we don’t feel happy for them at all and we will get our revenge!

What was is biggest challenge you have faced so far in your debut season? Our biggest challenge was definitely the match against Ice eSports, we were sitting in 1st with them in 2nd and we had to get the win in this match. The game went back and forth for 90 minutes, we got a free kick right outside the box Andy passed the ball to Maverick who crossed the ball. Mikey headed in giving us the 90th minute winner.

I didn’t want to be the only voice in the team I like to let the team have their say and tactics to work on. We all help each other out and share our opinions on tactics. We’ve gotta be confident with our teammates around us and that just comes with spending time on the pitch together and getting to know the lads you play with.

What formation do you prefer and why? The formation we play with is the 1-3-2-4. We like to have our three attacking players with a top CAM, who can find any of the three with the top CDM dropping back to give the FB more freedom to roam the wings and give us more options in the attack. EWF www.esportsworldfootball.com

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For all the latest news and exclusive interviews


www.esportsworldfootball.com For all the latest news and exclusive interviews


Issue 02  

Esports World Football, Issue 02 contains interviews with Michael "MegaBit" Bittner, Kurt "Kurt 0411" Fenech, Michael Labelle of the New Yor...

Issue 02  

Esports World Football, Issue 02 contains interviews with Michael "MegaBit" Bittner, Kurt "Kurt 0411" Fenech, Michael Labelle of the New Yor...

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