- FIFA eNations Cup marked a significant milestone in competitive eFootball
- First time eFootballers officially represented their country
- eFootball stars discuss what it means to them
The FIFA eNations Cup™ 2019 marked a significant milestone in competitive eFootball. For the first time, players were representing their country in an official capacity.
Twenty nations, with the backing of their respective Member Associations, descended on London to see who would be crowned the world’s best with France eventually taking the inaugural title.
FIFA.com caught up with a number of competitors to hear what it meant to officially represent their nation on the global stage for the first time.
Honour and prestige in flying the flag
"It’s the biggest honour – a dream that I wouldn’t have even dreamed of two years ago. For me, it’s the biggest tournament next to the FIFA eWorld Cup™. It’s about pride and wanting to make your country proud. Being picked out of so many German professionals is one of the biggest honours I could imagine."
"To represent Denmark officially ranks very high in my career. I’ve done a lot of great things in my career to date – representing Manchester City, winning the FIFA eClub World Cup™, finishing in the top four at the FIFA eWorld Cup last year – but this one ranks very high."
South Africa’s 'Shiaan120'
"Previously it felt like we were just representing ourselves and now, with the FIFA eNations Cup, it’s about your country, so it definitely feels like we’re representing South Africa."
The Netherlands’ 'Dani'
"This is the second time I’ve represented the Netherlands. The first was just an individual game but this is the first time in a real tournament. It’s just amazing to play in the very first FIFA eNations Cup and be the Netherlands’ No1 Xbox player."
"When I was doing the ePremier League with Liverpool, it wasn’t until I got to the event that it hit me and it was a bit scary! It’s the same with England. You have that feeling that you don’t want to let down the country."
"This event is so different. It’s not the same playing on your own, it’s about representing your country and everything that comes with it. You’re representing all those who’re playing FIFA in Spain and they’re all hoping things go well. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s motivating as well."
"I tried not to think a lot about it, but I knew we had thousands of supporters and I’m very grateful for that. It’s one of the most important things I’ve done so far. Hopefully, I will do it again because it has been a unique experience."
Australia’s 'Marcus Gomes'
"There is added pressure representing your country. I’ve represented my club but I’ve never had the pressure of knowing that whatever I do is going to be on the official social media channels of Australia, Socceroos and Matildas. It’s like being called up to the national team. This is the first international cap in a sense."
Official backing of Member Associations
"It’s an honour – I know that everyone says that – but it’s very cool that the national associations have picked up FIFA alongside real football too. All the previous tournaments have been serious in their own kind of way, but the national teams and every country’s FAs being involved definitely makes it a lot more official."
New Zealand’s 'Honeybadger'
"This year they definitely got on board the most. I felt like I was representing New Zealand when I was going to the tournaments last year, but this FIFA eNations Cup has really kicked it off. New Zealand got really into it, held their own [qualifying] tournament and kitted us out in the national team gear."
"With the backing and support of national associations, it’s big for us players – it makes it more official. Everyone dreams about playing for their national team. I played football when I was younger. It was my dream to represent Finland and even though it didn’t happen on the pitch, I’m thankful that it happened this way."
"Being one of the first eSports players to represent USA is a big thing for me. Having the US Soccer Federation backing me, it really feels official. Being a part of the organisation is totally different to back in the day where I was representing USA; now I’m representing US Soccer. They treat me like an athlete pretty much. They’ve been very supportive of us."