Springette, Pessoa feel City eCup will boost the eSports sector in the UAE

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Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette and Ryan Pessoa (pictured) have not looked back since joining the club, making huge strides in their esports careers that have seen them establish themselves in the worldwide FIFA gaming circuit.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Among the visitors at Expo 2020 this weekend will be two Manchester City esports stars, who will be watching the UAE’s best FIFA gaming talent compete for glory in the Man City eCup final, presented by Expo 2020 Dubai.

Professional players, Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette and Ryan Pessoa have not looked back since joining the club, making huge strides in their esports careers that have seen them establish themselves in the worldwide FIFA gaming circuit.

Besides testing themselves in competitions, they also travel outside the UK to promote and raise awareness of esports and competitions such as the Man City eCup and see through their own eyes the incredible talent pool when it comes to FIFA.

They believe these events at Expo 2020 can serve as an important platform for people to know more about esports and hopefully inspire them to choose gaming as a full-time job.

I think it’s great as it’s giving opportunities to play,” said Shellzz, who won the club’s first e-Premier League title in 2020-21.

“I think once people have a taste for it, then people will then realise if they are quite good at it and want to do it again. Most of all, people don’t realise how far they will be able to go so it’s all about seeing where you are. You never know, anyone can win on the day and that’s really exciting.”

Ryan, who would queue outside the shops on the days FIFA video games were released, said: “Some players might not necessarily have been involved in an atmosphere where they have played FIFA tournaments before as they play casually. eCups are massive and previously there was a lot of interest and popularity and we hope this is the start of something and that more people can get involved in FIFA eSports.”

Shellzz has been with City since signing in December 2018 with Ryan joining almost a year later in November 2019. It’s a decision that Ryan described as a ‘no-brainer’ when the opportunity to join City came about.

   “When I left my previous team, I had the opportunity to join Man City and for me it was a no-brainer as I got the chance to team up with Shellz and be part of the best esports team,” he said, who first played FIFA 2004 when he was nine-years-old. “It is a massive honour to represent Man City.”

Shellz agrees. He added: “I was impressed with their vision and it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my career. They have supported me from day one and the opportunities they provide are excellent and it’s one of the best esports teams out there.”

As professionals, Shellzz and Ryan have their own skill sets when it comes to playing FIFA – which they believe are crucial – both in eSports and outside in real life.

Ryan said: “I would say reaction time is very important as you need to be able to react quickly to your opponent. In terms of skill sets for the outside world, I would say adaptability is key as every year when a new version of FIFA comes out, there are new mechanics to learn and be the most effective.

“So you might be great on one version of FIFA in your attacking play but on the next FIFA, it might be more of a defensive game. So, being able to change and adapt to the new game is very important and is a skillset that is needed in real life.

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