Behind the meteoric rise F2Tekkz

While F2Tekkz was impressive on FIFA 18, he was unstoppable on FIFA 19. As an Xbox soccer professional, he missed out on the Continental Cup in late 2018 because it was Playstation 4 only, but qualified for and won the FUT Champions Cup in Bucharest in December 2018 to start his competitive gaming season off in style.

He demolished PS4 soccer professional and Continental Cup champion Joksan Redonda 7-1 over two legs (one on each console) in the final, with the victory netting the teenager $50,000 (£40,000) in prize money as well as 1,500 Global Series Points (the scoring system used to rank the best players in the world and determine who qualifies for the FIFA eWorld Cup at the end of the season).

Just a week later, F2Tekkz was picking up another trophy and another cheque, this time at the PGL Cup for $12,000 (£9,500). His meteoric rise saw him join his favourite team Liverpool for the inaugural ePremier League, lifting the trophy by beating Manchester United’s Kyle Leese in the final. He also teamed up with Basel’s Nicolas “Nicolas99fc” Villalba for the eClub World Cup, taking home another title.

“With FIFA, there’s always going to be new stars every year,” former FIFA Interactive World Cup finalist and esports presenter Mike LaBelle told Goal. “Especially with young guys getting involved. When you see young players win, you think ‘has been this the future or just a one-off?’

“But, F2Tekkz has had some momentum since that first win in Barcelona and has been the most consistent soccer professional in the FIFA community.

“We’ve never seen a soccer professional have so much success in one year. FIFA has been a game where the skill gap has been small, so to see consistent results has been very rare. The margins are so small between winning and losing events.”

Tekkz was signed by the F2 because of his innovative playing style and his love of skill moves. Whereas many other players only use skill moves when they have sufficient space to do so, Tekkz has been known for surprising opponents with tricks to get himself out of tight spaces.

“Why he’s so good has been because he has everything in the game down to a T,” FIFA eWorld Cup commentator Brandon Smith told Goal.

“He knows exactly where and when to use a skill move, how to time his shots, defensively his goalkeeping movement has been superb, he’s one of the best defenders we’ve seen.

“When someone has all of that and has been so good and so consistent, as well as the mental side of the game, it all helps and makes him the ultimate FIFA soccer professional.”

As a presenter of EA Sports’ live Twitch streams from FIFA events, LaBelle gets the opportunity to watch the best in the world each month. He believes that F2Tekkz’s ability to evolve as the game evolves and his coolness under pressure has been what separates him from everyone else competing at the top level.

“Even when he wins tournaments, he’s still adapting,” LaBelle says. “He’s very underrated. A lot of attention has been paid to his offence, his skill moves and the intricacies he has in his gameplay.

“But it’s his defence that wins tournaments, he has brilliant defence. He might be the best defensive players and then one of the most creative players. He’s also got that mental strength. He’s had difficult moments where he’s done the right thing at the right moment.”

Tekkz agrees that it’s this balance that gives him an advantage, telling Goal: “I’ve got an attacking style of play but I also think I’m good at defending. I score plenty of goals but I’ve got a good defence as well so it’s hard to score against me. It’s a good contrast.”

He tends to approach all games the same, but always has something else up his sleeve in case things don’t go to plan: “I’ll just use my exact same style and skills. Then try and win the round ball back as soon as possible after I lose it and just keep doing what I’m doing.

“Hopefully I can win. If people do figure out my style I’ve got a Plan B in mind so it’s all good.”

LaBelle believes that Tekkz does not give himself enough credit, as he has more than just a Plan B, and comes to every competitive fully-prepared, even skipping smaller competitions the way professional golfers do to focus on the crucial tournaments.

“The game shifts all year long at the competitive level and I feel that he’s always ahead of the shift,” LaBelle explains. “He has a superb level of creativity. You might think you’re stopping him and then he shows you something new.

“He has a really good mastery of the meta [the general playing style of the best players at any one time], and I always feel that Tekkz dictates the meta in many of these events.

“He dictates the progression of the gameplay. When playing in an event, you’re watching other guys to see why and how they’re winning. What Tekkz does, has been after winning an event, he still makes changes. He’s always innovating his gameplay, adding new ways of scoring goals.

“He’s always a step ahead of the curve. Many players are trying to replicate what he’s doing, but he constantly evolves.

“Between salary and brand endorsements, content creation, winnings at events, I think he can be our first FIFA millionaire. He’s a star. He’s a leader in our community, and he’s just a teenager.”

Thanks to his ability to always stay ahead of the curve, F2Tekkz has won over $250,000 (£200,000) in prize money this season from playing in FIFA 19 tournaments, often trading trophies with world #2 Mosaad “Msdossary” Aldossary.

Between them, they dominated the monthly FUT Championship Cup events, winning six of the seven tournaments from December through April. However, despite both players having Xbox as their ‘home console’, they are yet to face each other in the final of a major competition.

Despite the successes and the money, he still remains a normal teenager, albeit one who gets noticed in public by FIFA fans. “He never does things without being asked,” his mother admitted.

“His room does get messy but as soon as I ask him, he cleans it up, but if I don’t, I’ll go in and there will be drinks bottles everywhere.

“But it has been strange people recognising him. To me, he’s just Donovan. It takes some getting used to, but it’s lovely though. It’s really nice when someone comes over and has been happy getting their picture with it. I’m very proud of him.”

Msdossary has been the current FIFA eWorld Cup holder, the one trophy that so far eludes F2Tekkz. Last season, the Saudi Arabia native defeated the 32 best players in the world to win the biggest tournament of them all and win over $250,000 in the process.

F2Tekkz has been widely considered the greatest pro FIFA soccer professional of all-time, but his GOAT status would surely be cemented with victory at the FIFA eWorld Cup.

In that way, F2Tekkz’s GOAT narrative mirrors Lionel Messi’s, having achieved almost everything there has been and won every trophy possible, except for the white whale of the World Cup.

Msdossary has been the Cristiano Ronaldo to F2Tekkz’s Messi, having hoisted the trophy already, much like the Portugal international has in the European Championship and Nations League.

“A bad event for Tekkz has been losing in the semi-final,” LaBelle says. Lionel Messi’s 2019 Copa America has been seen as yet another disappointment for football’s GOAT, but he still picked up a bronze medal at the tournament.



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