- Mohamad Al-Bacha shot to fame as 2016 world champion
- Currently ranked at 58th on the Xbox
- Appeared for NFG at the recent FIFA eClub World Cup
Whatever Mohamad Al-Bacha does in the FIFA eSports world, his place in the game’s folklore has been secured for some time.
Three years ago, the now 20-year-old catapulted himself into the spotlight in 2016 with what still stands as the greatest comeback in the history of FIFA Grand Finals.
Now well on his way to being a veteran of the FIFA eWorld Cup scene, it was initially a meteoric rise to the top. “I played FIFA casually and I just thought I was better than that. I started participating in tournaments and eventually I managed to qualify for the World Cup,” he explained to FIFA.com.
“It was amazing, because I think it was my second or third international tournament – the biggest one of my life. It was crazy to take part in it. I’m living off FIFA now, so it’s really helped me and I’ve come far since then, so I’m really blessed.”
And in an instant the life of the Dane had been transformed thanks to his stoppage-time winner over Sean Allen – his now team-mate at NoFuchsGiven, run by Leicester City full-back Christian Fuchs. That final, however, is something they've kept off the conversation agenda.
Currently sat 58th in the FIFA 19 Global Series Rankings on the Xbox, his place in this year’s FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final play-offs are far from certain. However, a leap up the standings by 91 places after the FIFA eClub World Cup has certainly boosted those chances, after narrowly missing out on reaching the tournament's second day.
Though with plenty riding on the final months of the season, he’s not planning on getting too caught up in the stress of it all, keeping his weekly practice low to “stay consistent in my gameplay, stay creative”.
“I still see it as a hobby, I don’t want to see it as a job. I try to enjoy it as much as I can,” Al-Bacha explained. “It’s all about will and dedication. If you want it, you can do it. We all started from zero.”
But, having played among the biggest names in the game for over three years now, one myth he wants to dispel is that – were they sat in the same chair on the big stage – anyone could do what the high-flying eSports stars could do. “When pros play against each other it doesn’t like we’re doing something special, but we actually are,” he insisted.
“Most of us pros are just one or two steps ahead of the casuals – we think quicker, we have better timing. I think all the pros are pretty equal, as we all know how to do the skills, how to pass the ball, but it’s when to pass it, where and how you perform.”
As part of the game’s elite, he knows all about tackling the complex challenge of facing his fellow pros but, however competitive the action is, when the controllers have been put down the FIFA eSports scene is one Al-Bacha greatly enjoys being a part of.
“I think we have a really good community. Everyone’s really nice to each other and supports each other. I think there’s a lot of respect between everyone, we’re all cool and collected, and everyone’s professional.”
With us coming towards the business end of the season and the tension steadily rising, hopefully it stays that way!