Manchester City FIFA player Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette has won the 2020/21 ePremier League (ePL) after a tense grand final.
Shellzz won the first leg 4-2, but Leeds United’s Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin took the second leg 3-1, making the final score tied 5-5, taking the final to extra time.
Ollelito took the lead at the start of extra time, but Shellzz levelled things up to make it 6-6 and take the game to penalties.
Shellzz eventually won 4-2 on penalties and took home the £20,000 top prize, as well as the trophy and a Hublot watch.
Runner-up Ollelito collected £10,000, with the runners-up of the two console finals MHaywxrd (Sheffield United) and Diogo ‘FalconsDiogo’ Mendes (Chelsea) each winning £5,000. They also won seats in the FIFA 21 Global Series European Playoffs this summer.
“Words can’t describe how I feel… to be able to call myself a champion, I’m so happy right now,” Shellzz said.
“Four years ago, when I lost in a final, I’ve had that sour taste. Sometimes you need luck and I definitely got some luck in that second leg.
“Ollelito is number five in the world on Xbox for a reason. Coming into this tournament, I knew it was gonna be tough. I was playing on Xbox and conceded early, but went 4-1 up. When he went to narrow, I found it hard to contain him, he was countering me quite easily and I couldn’t really create chances.
“But I had to keep on going, I went back to 4-4-2 early on in the second half in the second leg, I had to create more chances to try and win the game.”
Shellzz also beat Leicester City’s Cosmin ‘NFG Cosmin’ Petrescu on penalties in the quarter-finals before beating last season’s runner-up Marc ‘MarcMarleyyy’ Marley (Brighton & Hove Albion) 4-2 at the semi-final stage. He then won 4-3 in the PS4 final against Sheffield United’s Mitchell ‘RISE MHaywxrd’ Hayward.
Ollelito said losing in the final was the toughest moment of his career so far:
Premier League commercial director Will Brass said: “Congratulations to Shellzz and Manchester City on winning the 2020/21 ePremier League. The standard of play in this year’s finals was incredibly high and it was great to see such exciting competition across all stages of the tournament.
“Over three seasons, the ePremier League has proved popular with FIFA players of all abilities, and consistently brought together established pros and new faces. It has also attracted a growing audience worldwide and provided clubs with a new way of engaging with their supporters.
“Many thanks to EA Sports and our broadcast partners for their support, ensuring we have been able to bring another enjoyable and high-quality tournament to fans globally. We look forward to continuing to develop the ePremier League over coming seasons.”
The ePremier League is operated by UK-based esports tournament provider Gfinity.
Organisers say more than 22m fans tuned in to the first two ePL Finals, and the climax to this year’s tournament was televised in the UK by Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC Sport, as well as being shown around the world by the Premier League’s international licensees.
All players competed remotely in this season’s finals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the event hosted live from the Gfinity Arena in London.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.