- EA SPORTS FIFA helped Spencer FC gain around two million YouTube followers
- He is one of this FIFA eWorld Cup’s presenters. Tickets via fifa.com/fewc
- Spencer shares his predictions for London 2019
Who could have imagined a video-game obsession transforming one of the planet’s innumerable football-obsessed students into an influencer to the social-media masses?
“I’ve played FIFA ever since I was a young lad, with my brother,” Spencer told FIFA.com. “Then I started playing a bit more when I went to university, with my housemates.
“After uni, I saw that there was a lot of FIFA content going up on YouTube that was very popular, and I felt it added something different to the space. So I started making my own series around FIFA.
“I went the extra mile in terms of production. I made little props and things, and they really resonated with people, and that’s essentially what grew my YouTube channel and allowed me to transition into traditional football as well.
“Then I got the opportunity to commentate on some FIFA stuff in 2014 at a Gfinity event. I really liked doing that, and I was really interested in this world of eSports that I could see had so much potential.
“I wanted to get involved as much as possible. I’ve been lucky enough to have been professionally working as a presenter or commentator in FIFA for the last five years. This will be my fourth FIFA eWorld Cup. I love it.”
During his involvement with the eWorld Cup, Spencer has seen it flourish astronomically.
“You’ve only got to look at the prize money to see how much it’s grown,” he said. “When I first presented it the winner won $20,000. This year they’re getting $250,000. It’s increased by more than ten times in three or four years – that’s exceptional.
“It’s a massive opportunity for players to get prize money, and most of them are on decent wages now as well. There’s a whole ecosystem of professionalism that’s been brought into FIFA esports.
“At the FIWC I presented in 2015, there was maybe one or two players at most who were contracted to clubs and being paid. Most of them were individuals at that point.
“This year, of the 32 players, there’s only two that are unsigned, and one of them is unsigned by choice and will have huge offers coming his way. Both of them will, I’m sure.
“There’s players being paid professional wages who didn’t even qualify in the playoffs, the top 64. There’s a lot of opportunity.”
The planet’s top 32 will fight for global glory at The O2 in London, and Spencer believes defending champion Mosaad ‘MsDossary’ Aldossary faces an uphill struggle.
“Alfonso Ramos and Bruce Grannec won two FIWCs, but no-one’s done it back-to-back,” Spencer said. “I just think it’s very hard to do that. So for that reason I’m not going to say ‘MsDossary’, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.
“You’ve got to be looking at ‘Tekkz’ as the favourite. What he’s done this year is ridiculous. In terms of consistency I don’t think there’s ever been a year like it.
“There’s been so many events this year, so it’s been unprecedented in itself, but he’s won the lion’s share of them and he’s always got far into tournaments – I don’t think he’s ever got knocked out before a semi-final, which is crazy. But it all comes down to one tournament, so you never know.
“On the PlayStation side you’re looking at ‘Nicolas99fc’, who’s a very solid player. Traditionally, PlayStation players don’t tend to match up as well as Xbox ones, but that can be changed. ‘Nicolas99fc’ is someone who’s good enough to do that. I’d say they’re the two favourites on the two consoles.
“But we’ve just had an event in Hamburg where ‘Stokes’ has beaten ‘Tekkz’ in the final – ‘Stokes’ is a British player and [the FIFA eWorld Cup] is on British soil – so on current form you’d have to look at him as well. Anyone of them could win it, but I think ‘Tekkz’ is my pick.
“I can’t wait to see how it plays out. It’s a great event to come to. You get to see these guys, who are literally at the very top level of what they do, in the flesh, and see what they have to deal with under the pressure.
“You get a really decent crowd. They get involved as the goals go in. You get a great view. You’ve got a great venue like the O2 Arena as well.
“Lots of other guests as well – we’ve got some really good hip-artists coming to perform, we’ve got some special guests from the football world too. It’s definitely worth seeing this growing eSports world in the flesh.”