At the FIFA eWorld Cup finals in London earlier this month (where we interviewed UK casters Richard Buckley and Brandon Smith on a career in casting), there was also a press conference on the final day.
As part of this, last year’s winner – UK pro gamer Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing – answered some questions. He spoke about pro gaming being a viable career option and how winning last year affected him.
Gorilla said: “Last year was the first time I qualified for the FIFA Interactive World Cup (now renamed to the eWorld Cup) and I knew that if I had the opportunity to compete, I’d be able to show my skill at the top stage. And obviously I won.
“But it’s changed my life massively from a competitive standpoint and also personally. It’s always been a personal achievement of mine to win a world title, so it was massive for me. I always had my doubts, I’ve won tournaments before but not at the scale of the FIFA Interactive World Cup.
“The prize pool wasn’t too bad either! So that was a nice bonus. But for me it’s always been about the trophy, I’ve always wanted to collect the trophies. When I retire that’s what I’d love to look back on.”
The top prize was raised from $200,000 last year to $250,000 this year. Did the winnings last year help Gorilla take his career to the next level?
“I think not for me personally,” Gorilla explained. “But I think the intent that’s been shown with the prize pools, for a lot of pro players it just shows that you can do this for a living.
“I think that solidified it for me last year, to know there’s progress with this. $200,000 last year and $250,000 this year… I think it’s only the start and I’m looking forwards to the future.”
This year, Gorilla put in a solid performance and made it into the last eight, but was beaten by Malta’s Kurt0411.