The Vancouver Whitecaps FC at present have the perfect participant in North America — and he did so in Saskatchewan with out stepping on the pitch.
Beneath the gaming identify Exraa, Alex Gonzalez gained an Xbox championship title this previous weekend in the course of the FIFA 21 International Collection North American Qualifier 1.
“I performed, I believe, for 4 or 5 totally different collection straight, which it was actually tiring, actually. Took possibly six hours in whole. Yeah, that was actually tiring,” Gonzalez mentioned.
“Felt fairly good. I felt like I type of, not type of, however did deserve it general, so I did really feel good to drag by means of.”
The win earned the 19-year-old a US$5,000 prize and factors in direction of qualification for the North American regional playoffs.
“That is undoubtedly my highest achievement to this point, I’d say, as a result of I truly gained one thing,” Gonzalez mentioned.
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The skilled gamer solely trains and competes on-line in Regina.
“I began gaming after I was actually younger, six years previous, however significantly gaming possibly six years in the past,” Gonzalez mentioned.
“I began majorly being thinking about Name of Obligation, that was my breakthrough, type of sport that I actually needed to strive lots and play lots. However then I moved on to FIFA and I grew to become actually good.”
Gonzalez grew up in Mexico earlier than settling in the midst of the Prairies as an adolescent.
“I lived in Mexico for few years with my household after which a job alternative got here up in Vancouver in B.C. and so we transfer there and lived there for a couple of years after which one other job alternative got here for each (dad and mom) so we moved right here,” Gonzalez mentioned.
“I prefer it. It’s chilly and that’s like a very massive disadvantage however other than that, it’s fairly cool.”
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As a soccer participant with FC Regina, Gonzalez hung out enjoying within the Whitecaps FC BMO Saskatchewan Academy Centre. Nowadays, he’s is an official eSports gamer with the Main League Soccer (MLS) membership.
“Yeah it’s totally different however it’s fairly cool … It’s not a factor lots of people get to do,” he mentioned.
Gonzalez mentioned he’s hoping his play transcends abroad in opposition to opponents to change into the worldwide champion in December.
“My objective is to maintain profitable, I don’t need it to be a one-time factor, I need to be a number of,” Gonzalez mentioned.
“The Europe qualifiers themselves, they get like a thousand gamers on Xbox and PlayStation. So, I imply, there’s actually 1000’s.”
The Whitecaps’ FIFA eSports staff GM Tyler Wilson, who hails from Regina, mentioned they’ve come a good distance since their launch in 2018. The membership now has two official eSports athletes – Gonzalez on Xbox and Erfan “Ability Shack” Hosseini on PlayStation.
“We began off with most MLS groups did with a foot within the water … and the entire scene has simply grown a lot with league play outdoors of the eMLS Cup even. For instance, we’re enjoying in three totally different leagues this week alone,” he mentioned.
“We’re the one staff proper now in Canada that has an Xbox and a PlayStation participant.
“We’re this globally and our guys are … actually showcasing our membership. I imply, the match Alex gained the opposite day and I haven’t regarded on the stats right now, however (Monday) there was already a quarter-million individuals who had seen it in order that they’re fairly standard.”
Staff play continues on Thursday as Exraa and Ability Shack as soon as once more come collectively in qualifying for the 2021 FIFAe Membership World Cup. The North American Qualifier 2 occasion will happen on Feb. 6 and seven.
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