UNILAD has published a video interview with its two UK FIFA pros: Shaun “Shellzz” Springette (left) and Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing (right).
The pair are taking part in the FUT Champions Cup which kicked off in Barcelona on Friday January 26th. Gorilla is competing in the Xbox One division and Shellzz is in the PS4 division.
They are two of the UK’s best FIFA players with a combined career earnings of $400,000 (£280,000).
Gorilla won the FIFA Interactive World Cup and was awarded the UK Esports Player of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards. Shellzz finished second at the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship in Berlin.
Here are some of our picks from UNILAD’s interview, which was conducted by well-known video games host Julia Hardy.
Ambitions and mentality
Gorilla said: “It’s now been a few months since the FIFA Interactive World Cup, so I am really looking forward to getting back to playing in these type of competitions against the best in the world.
“My goal is to put in some strong performances and keep that winning momentum going.”
Shellzz added: “I have the ability, it’s all about confidence at these tournaments. Everyone at these tournaments are so good – the best of the best – it mainly comes down to your mental state and your form. That first run at a tournament means a lot.
“Every tournament I’m nervous, the night before I’m up, sitting on the toilet I’m nervous and think ‘I can’t do this’! But once you’re in a game you forget about everything – you’re just focused.
“My number one target is to win the championship. I need to redeem myself. I want to compete in all the tournaments I can.”
What to do with all that prize money?
Gorilla won $200,000 alone from winning the FIFA Interactive World Cup last year, while Shellzz picked up $80,000 after finishing second in Berlin’s FUT Championship.
Shellzz admitted: “It’s too much money for me. I’m just an average kid from North West London who went to sixth form, chilled with friends… to have that type of money in your face is just… you don’t want to go crazy with it.
“I spent some of it on new shoes, games, FIFA points when the new FIFA came out. In the back of my head I’m telling myself not to go crazy with it, but it’s hard not to.”
It seems that pro football esports players have a tendency of remaining grounded when it comes to taking home big prize winnings. Last year’s Pro Evo world champion Guilherme “GuiFera” Fonseca said he spent his prize winnings mainly on studying at university.
Gorilla also has 500,000 subscribers on YouTube, giving him another revenue stream.
He admitted he owes where he is partly to Gfinity, for hosting the first FIFA tournament he entered a few years back, and to well-known YouTuber KSI, who advertised it on his channel.
How they’re getting on so far
It’s very early days in this weekend’s FUT Champions Cup at the time of posting this article, and not many games have actually been played.
This has drawn criticism from some of the players and fans on social media.
I am lost for words what is going on in this tournament. We have 3-4 hours break between every game. Please tell me how you can stay focused, cba. Sad day folks sad day ?
— Marlut (@Marlut96) January 26, 2018
Had a great birthday, came to compete and played 2 games in 9 hours ?? how’s your day gone?
— Spencer (@Gorilla_Unilad) 26 January 2018
We’ve played 2 games in 9+ hours. I’m actually speechless
— Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) 26 January 2018
Shellzz also had an unlucky moment in one of his games:
This weekend’s FUT Champions Cup takes place from January 26th to 28th and is being streamed on the EA SPORTS Twitch channel and YouTube channel.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League player and WoW RPer, he has written for a range of publications including Games TM, Nintendo Official Magazine, games industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games. He currently works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association.