Paris, nous venons!

20th December 2016

Unlike traditional eSports games with their regular tweaks and gradually-evolving metas, the world of FIFA eSports changes with each annual series update. This forces players to adapt quickly to a new release just to remain competitive. This time, FIFA 17 has been built completely from scratch using a powerful new engine, as such redefining the scene even further. I caught up with our own FIFA pros, Anthony “xL Guigsey” McGuigan and Tom “xL Painter” Painter, to get their thoughts on the latest edition, impending trips to Paris and the season ahead.

FIFA 17 is an entirely new game, rather than just a yearly update. What improvements do you think have been made, and what difficulties have you had in adapting?

Guigsey:

“For me, this edition is the best FIFA game yet. The speed of the game seems just right, and the passing feels amazingly well-balanced. In past games the LB+Y pass was so overused and overpowered, whereas now there are many ways to outsmart your opponent. The hardest thing to adapt to has been the defending. With the changes to passing and dribbling, it’s harder to predict what your opponent will do. However, with a lot of games under my belt now I’m getting to grips with stifling opponents’ attacking threat.”

Painter:

“I think it’s the best FIFA to date. Sure, it has its faults, but overall it’s a great game and with a few adjustments it can get even better.”

You’ve both qualified for the FUT Championship Series Regional Final in Paris. How does that feel?

Guigsey:

“Originally, I thought I’d missed out, having finished in 13th place. That was hard to take, but the qualifier was really tough. Players were doing whatever they had to do to get the win, and what made it even more difficult was the lack of restrictions regarding formations. Players were also using training attribute cards, which added another layer of difficulty to matches. But I’m really pleased to have made it, it’ll be the biggest event I’ve attended by far!”

Painter:

“I’m really excited about Paris. It’s a brand-new experience for me, and I really can’t wait. I’ll be approaching it with the mindset of playing without pressure, as I’ve got nothing to lose. It’s time to work hard, get my practice in and turn up when it really matters!”

FIFA 17 has really created a buzz in the FIFA eSports scene, with more official support from EA and FIFA, professional football clubs entering the scene and much larger prize pools being announced. How does this influence your own aims for the 2017 season?

Guigsey:

“I think football clubs getting involved in the FIFA scene is massive! It will get a lot more people interested in competitive FIFA, and bring more entertainment for events. Firstly, one of my personal aims is to start streaming officially on Twitch and to build up my YouTube channel, and hopefully bring in a large following. From there, my aim is to achieve top four at the Paris Regional and qualify for the FUT Championship Final, which carries a massive prize pool of $400,000. I’m under no illusion that it will be easy, but I am well prepared and more than ready for the challenge!”

Painter:

“I think it’s good that professional football clubs are entering the scene. It adds a kind of rivalry to the game which goes beyond the individuals who are playing. My aim for 2017 is to simply continue what I’ve been doing, improving and having fun in the process. Let’s see how far that can take me!”

We certainly wish both Guigsey and Painter every success, and we’ll be supporting them every step of their journey to Paris and beyond! You can keep up to date with their progress by following on Twitter:

@exceL                                             
@xL_Guigsey                                   
@xL_Painter