Interview with Christian Spiteri - The BOV ePremier League Champion

With the end of the inaugural season of the BOV ePremier League, being Malta's first-ever official marriage between traditional sports and esports on a local scene, here at GMR Entertainment we're overjoyed with how successful the season was. 

Apart from the general successes, the level of competition the league offered was simply insane - especially with our crowned champion of Christian Spiteri who played out of his mind to secure first place. Taking the season in dominant fashion, I decided to virtually sit down with the champion and conduct the following interview where I picked his brain a little in order to learn more about his personal and professional life. 

1. Hi there Christian and congratulations on your win! Before diving into the competitive side of things, let’s first get to know you on a personal level. Tell us a bit about yourself – your age, your hobbies, what you do for a living and how gaming is a part of your life.

Hi, thank you! Well, I’m 25 years old, I like to walk/jog, play and watch football and read a lot. At the moment my only focus is achieving my ambitions within FIFA.

2. Gaming is one thing, and esports is another. When exactly did you decide to take it all to the next level and start competing? What events, or even who, inspired you to do so? Was it always something you wanted to do?

The moment my dad bought me the PS3 together with FIFA 09 and I connected it to the internet, and could play other people online. From that moment on I always took it seriously, but the first time I watched the FIWC tournament (World Cup) streamed, which is the best honour a player can win, this event really made me dream to one day compete in such competitions.

I always had and continue to have a competitive nature. It wasn’t something I thought I would do or ever planned to do. I always planned to play the real sport, but unfortunately I was never good enough to reach the heights I would be satisfied with, and with this game I felt there was potential.

Also, the fact that the scene kept growing and introducing more international events made it an easy substitute to the real thing, feeding my competitive hunger by competing in the sports I love which is football, just on the virtual pitch instead.

3. Let’s start diving into your recent performance at the inaugural BOV ePremier League: first of all, how did you come to represent Santa Lucia FC? What was your reaction to it all? What did your friends and family have to say? 

Santa Lucia was the first from a few clubs that contacted me, they showed great belief and interest for me, and I knew straightaway it was the club for me and it was a very straightforward discussion.

I was happy to reach an agreement with such a club that is so united together and ambitious, some of my friends were disappointed as I didn’t join the club they support, but they wished me luck nonetheless and my family was also very supportive.

4. You started the league with an absolutely phenomenal run of 22 consecutive wins! How did you manage, game after game, to keep besting every single opponent that came your way? Is there a particular way in which you prepare for each game? Do you prepare differently depending on the opponent?

Obviously with this type of run, you need a little bit of luck to go your way sometimes, which it did for me in particular games, such as against Lawfu and Gianluca in the first legs.

However, luck alone is not enough to pull you through such a run and obviously you need to play consistent, you will have many different scenarios to face and that’s when you need to show your character. One needs to stay concentrated and try and play to the best level despite the challenges and pressure you are facing and feeling.

I prepare the same way for every opponent, I never take for granted any player that I’m facing as they will sit and play against you to beat you, and every single player has earned their spot.

5. Halfway through the league, with you performing dominantly, the pandemic broke out and the championship had to be suspended. How did this affect you as a competitor and what did you do to maintain your form at the top of the standings?

When it was suspended there was a possibility that it would have been cancelled, and so here I want to thank the organizers for giving us the opportunity to finish the league.

I kept practicing regularly and compete in online tournaments too, so I kept my usual routine despite the pandemic, but the difficulty in the last matchday was to play with the excitement and anxiety that was built due to the league being suspended.

Having to wait since the beginning of March to continue the season was a challenge to handle the tension and emotions but I am pleased with the end result.

6. At the end of the season, after 26 games, you finished on top without a single loss. How does it feel to be the inaugural champion? How did you celebrate?

I feel relieved in having my work and sacrifices result in me winning the league, and going undefeated is just a bonus. I’ve celebrated by allowing myself to take a break and not play FIFA for a while.

7. What do you think was the key to your success? What would you say was the most challenging part of competing in the BOV ePremier League together with any thoughts on the level of local competition?

Definitely the key and the most challenging aspect for me was handling the pressure and expectations.

I think. I felt before it even started that the level would be really good and it proved to be, and obviously during the season the competition was getting tougher and better, with the experience players were gaining within the league, in my opinion.

8. As champion of the BOV ePremier League – what are your goals for the future as an individual? Will you be competing in future seasons? As you’ve already participated in multiple international events in the past, do you have any future international plans that you’d like to share with us?

My major goal and ambition is really to continuously aim high and challenging myself to achieve and direct my efforts appropriately towards – specifically, my goal is to win an international honor next season.

9. The BOV ePremier League was the first of its kind in Malta. What are your thoughts on how the season went know that it is finished in terms of professionalism and organization? Do you have any suggestions or ideas for future seasons? How much potential do you see in continual support of the local competitive FIFA scene?

I was pleasantly surprised at how well organized it was and I want to congratulate the organizers for doing as good as a job ,in my opinion, as international events in their infrastructure and set up.

I think the current format is the right one, maybe with time it can be improved by someone with a better idea, but I can’t see it getting better for now.

Seeing this as the start of involving local Maltese clubs is highly encouraging and I think things will only improve from here on out.

10. Finally, this final question goes out to our readers. Christian, as a local champion, what words of advice do you have to offer to those individuals who think they have what it takes but are reluctant or even shy to compete? What tips do you have to offer to the rookies out there looking to make a name for themselves?

My advice is to play the qualifiers and just try, this shyness or pressure of competition won’t affect you so much after some experience - this is the beauty of experience, the more you get use to something, the better you get at it.

So don’t shy away is my advice and look at it as something that will make you an even better player by facing up to these challenging emotions.

With regards to gameplay, my tips would be to watch high level players play, study them a bit, try and learn from them and after some time I would even recommend recording the games you play and analyze your games to see what you can improve upon.

Obviously not everyone’s got the time for this but I think it’s better to play 50% less than what you normally play and use the time you use to spend playing to analyze your gameplay, I think this is way more efficient route to improving.

Christian has definitely earned my respect with the humility present in his responses: having gone undefeated through 26 games, the amount of respect he still shows the competition is highly commendable and a reason as to why he is mutually praised for his performances. He has every right to be cocky, but still, he retains a cool and humble resolve. Apart from the responses to the questions, he also had the following to say: 

I'm very happy to have taken part in the first official Maltese FIFA league, I would like to thank my family for their constant support, my friends, Santa Lucia for the honor they gave me in allowing me to represent them, and I would like to congratulate all the staff that made this happen from MFA and GMR Entertainment and well done to all the players that took part.

Bearing this level-headed attitude in mind, Christian offered some incredible advice to rookies which is definitely worth noting as his emphasis on efficiency couldn't be highlighted further. 

As an individual, GMR Entertainment would like to congratulate him one more time on his success at the BOV ePremier League and we wish him the absolute best for his future as an international competitor too. We also hope to perhaps see Christian back again next season to defend his title!

Let us know what you thought of Christian's responses and his performance at the BOV ePremier League in the comments section below! 

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 23rd June 2020, 23:56

I'm Gabriel - 19 year-old dental student attending university working as a part-time esports journalist. I've been doing this for 3 years now. Having worked with GMR Entertainment in the past, I've come on board to write some articles this summer :).

Comments

Our Social Media

Latest News

Among Us - A Tiny Game Exploding After 2 Years

Back in 2018, the American game studio of InnerSloth eagerly released their new game of 'Among Us' to the world. Available on Android, iOS and Windows, their exciting new implication of a classic idea was bound to succeed but at first, it simply didn't. No, for some reason, they'd have to wait for roughly two years and a pandemic before the multiplayer game would suddenly sky rocket in popularity! I know, it's crazy sometimes how the videogame industry works. In this article, we'll be covering all thing Among Us. What is Among Us? If you haven't realized, ever since August 2020 when multiple popular content creators suddenly began playing it, Among Us is now on most phones and for good reasons. Let's first dive into what it is, as a game. Among Us is a multiplayer game for up to 10 players where 1-3 players are randomly picked to be 'Imposters' and the others 'Crewmates' all aboard a ship/vessel of some kind. Depending on your role, there are different objectives: Crewmates: given tasks to take care of across the map. Winning takes place by finishing all the tasks or eliminating the Imposter through voting  Imposter: fake list of tasks, they're given the ability to slay Crewmates, travel through vents and to sabotage the map too. Winning happens by eliminating enough Crewmates or successfully sabotaging ship.  Deduction is the name of the game here. You've got to be careful who to trust and know how to act when it's time to vote after finding a body or calling an emergency meeting.  And that's basically it, a virtual form of the party game Mafia.  An Explosion in Player Count  Back in 2018, figures show that after release Among Us had an average player count of 30 to 50 players concurrently! Accordingly, the development team admitted that due to bad marketing, they were that close to giving up entirely. However, despite the small player base, more work and maps were put into the game.  With this work, the game just snowballed to the point that 20 million downloads rocked August, with 40 million hitting September and 400,000 concurrent players on Steam. It's great to see such a long-term investment pay off for the small studio.  Why is it so popular? It's why Mafia is so fun at parties - you force people into discussions, arguments and accusations that you could never make in any other environments. With a group of friends or family, such a game is a tonne of fun, giggles, frustration and yelling at one another. Otherwise, even playing online is a lot of fun as you test your ability to be both sneaky and influential on the thoughts of others.  Just like Fall Guys a month ago, Among Us is a new way in which people are connecting and giggling through these tough times. From my experience, it's a game for the whole family and a party game which evolves in complexity due to the elite strategies possible. There's nothing more exciting than being an Imposter in Among Us.  The Future of Among Us - Sequel and Console Port?  Due to the popularity, the developers have had to cancel all thought behind a sequel. Why? Although they wished to create a fresh version with a more modern engine, they decided to abandon the idea and instead focus on the original due to the popularity behind it. Accordingly, new features and maps will be rolling out for it.  Also, console ports for PS4 and Xbox have been considered, but issues are being encountered for communication systems amongst other issues.  Otherwise, I genuinely hope the game keeps growing. It's a superb party game with a dedicated studio behind it that suffered for two years.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section! What do you think about Among Us?   

CoD Black Ops Cold War SBMM - Why the Massive Debate?

The Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Alpha was probably the best piece of surprising news this year, as I hastily jumped onto my PS4 after its announcement. While the Alpha itself was only a small representation of the future title, one aspect of it threw the community into a massive debate on whether it should or shouldn't be implemented. This argument extended beyond the Call of Duty community as personalities such as Ninja also threw in their opinion. We're talking about SBMM, Skill-Based-Match-Making. Read on as I'll explain exactly what's going on.  What is SBMM exactly then? Luckily, its definition doesn't escape its namesake by much. The concept involves matching players against equally skilled players in online lobbies, evaluating skill through in-game statistics such as Damage Per Game, K/D or Score. Such an idea is quite common in ranked playlists in any game, to effectively allow people to slowly climb up the ladders and allow for fair matches. However, for Call of Duty, the argument comes about the fact that SBMM, for the Alpha at least, was implemented in casual lobbies. So after playing some incredible games myself, I suddenly began to match up against significantly tougher and 'sweatier' opponents. Yes, it's definitely tougher and more rewarding should a victory be earned, but it's half as fun. Meanwhile, on the other side of the argument, many were quick to defend the casual player - why should he/she be stomped by tryhards and not matched up against other new players?  That's basically the entire argument, as content creators found it difficult at times to create enjoyable gameplay due to this. Here are some Tweets on the subject by certain people:  Above is a commonly referenced thread on the matter, as professional fighting player TSM Leffen stood out into the limelight to challenge Hitch, a Call of Duty content creator. Beyond these two, we've got quotes from three more personalities for you to enjoy:  SBMM does not belong in Call of Duty. There should be a ranked playlist for people to sweat in. I’m not trying to play Scuf wielding game fuel chugging demons with szn in their psn on Miami TDM. Also, to the noobies that are gonna cry about this tweet, hold this choppy gunny. — Seth Huntsmen (@scump) September 19, 2020 Here's what Ninja and Shroud both have to say on the matter too:  “You can’t be good at a game, like, way better than your average gamer and then complain when you matching with people that are on your skill level,” said Ninja. "It's weird, why do they have that [SBMM], it kind of makes Ranked Play irrelevant," he commented. "PUBG is way more fun than that, I'll tell you right now, way more fun than that. [...] As unfortunate as it is, part of the fun of playing BRs is to sh*t on some noobs." - Shroud  A bunch of point of views here - pro players, pro CoD players, streamers and content creators all with their own opinion. I think it all stems from what the specific person wants to experience from lobbies. In fact, to get around the SBMM, players such as "Scump" have publically confessed to having to smurf (using new accounts) or stats dumping (purposely entering lobbies and doing horribly) in order to match with worse players. The pressure is definitely on content creators to get that content.  Otherwise, it's still in the Alpha stages and Treyarch will probably need to revise SBMM and come out with a public statement on the matter. Let's see how this turns out.  What about you? Did you experience aggressive SBMM in the Alpha were you suddenly matched against way tougher opponents? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Xbox Buys Bethesda - A Massive Move for Exclusives

Woke up and everywhere, headlines are screaming all over about Xbox's recent investment of a gobsmacking $7.5 billion. Yep, you read that right, $7.5 billion. This week on Monday, Microsoft announced that they have acquired the entire ZeniMax Media company and all of its intellectual properties - namely, Bethesda Game Studios. Moments before pre-orders open for the Xbox Series X/S, this is a massive move for great exclusive games on Xbox!  By buying out ZeniMax Media, Microsoft now owns Bethesda and all of the following studios:  Arkane Tango Gameworks MachineGames id Bethesda Softworks Bethesda Game Studios Roundhouse Studios  Alpha Dog  If you're unaware, here are some of the games that have been released by the above in the past months:  Prey  Quake  Wolfenstein  DOOM  Dishonored Elder Scrolls Online  Fallout 76 And many more.. I'll say it again, this is a massive move by Microsoft. Personally, I'm a fan of both the Wolfenstein and moreso, the DOOM series of titles. Having them exclusively on Xbox will definitely give me something to think about. Otherwise, games such as Fallout and Elder Scrolls Online also have large communities.  According to the folks over at Microsoft, this is part of a greater plan:  Over the last few weeks, we’ve been excited to share more detail on important elements of a plan we’ve been building towards for years. A plan that is the fulfilment of a promise, to you the Xbox player, to deliver the most performant, immersive and compatible next-generation gaming experiences, and the freedom to play blockbuster games with your friends, anytime, anywhere. Today is a landmark step in our journey together and I’m incredibly energized by what this step means for Xbox. Buying out game developers is definitely a great tactic to claim full ownership of titles. However, I doubt Microsoft will be shelling out many more billions into acquiring further developers.  And that's where we turn our attention to Sony. While they already have multiple game studios allied to them, this move definitely hurts Sony's PS5 due to a loss of games. They'll have to work harder to make up for the loss or even make a little announcement of their own. Notably, this also affects the Nintendo Switch as it offered some of the above titles too. One thing to note is that this doesn't necessarily mean exclusivity, but Xbox won't give up these IPs unless at a very high price.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Sony Apologizes for Pure Chaos Around PS5 Pre-Orders

Following the incredible showcase event which we covered earlier, Sony did something unprecedented in the industry. Indeed, you've probably heard of the fact that PS5s are becoming scarce on launch thanks to this. For some reason, Sony opened pre-orders only a handful of hours after the event live stream. Here's what happened afterwards.  Sony's showcase for the console was great, perhaps too great. By opening preorders momentarily, everyone hopped on to secure their own pre-orders as soon as possible. The main issues came when certain international retailers offered preorders a day early - effectively jumping the gun. In doing so, many who were gearing up for a pre-order on the release date were met with a horrifying message - 'out of stock'.  So much so, that even multiple content creators such as AngryJoe have shown frustration over the fact that they themselves missed out on the pre-order stock. After minutes, preorder stocks simply vanishes as everybody rushed to them. Besides that, people who have already secured a preorder are being warned that their product may arrive after launch day.  What's worse is that in this situation, Sony has blatantly contradicted itself. Only week's ago, a marketing employee of Eric Lempel had explicitly stated that chaos will be noted.  It's safe to say, we'll let you know when pre-orders will happen. It's not going to happen with a minute's notice.  Two weeks later, here's Playstation's apology over the situation:  Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder – retailers will share more details. And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/h1TaGsGBun — PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 19, 2020 I know a 'sorry' doesn't really fix anything, but at least the situation is acknowledged. The question I'm pondering is whether this is a dent on Sony's part in the console war. We'll probably find out in the long run.  Either way, feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! Did you manage to secure a preorder? 

Shroud and Logitech G Partner - Pro Series Peripherals

It's likely that almost all of our readers are aware of who the modern personality of shroud - the so-called God of Shooters, former CS:GO professional, prominent Twitch streamer and above all, a headshot machine. Who doesn't want aim like him? That's the answer that Logitech G is trying to provide through their recent partnership with the streaming star. Let's set the mood with the official announcement video:  Started using Logitech G products years ago and now we have a line of our own. Introducing the shroud x @LogitechG PRO line. Get yours: https://t.co/lALCEnGFtk pic.twitter.com/YnH9zwroKu— Michael Grzesiek (@shroud) September 15, 2020 Accordingly, Shroud has partnered to produce an entire peripheral line, with a branded keyboard, headset, mouse and mousepad. With regards to additional features, none were mentioned and the product line seems to be a reskin of the already very popular Logitech G line. Namely, the following are available: Pro Wireless Lightspeed Gaming Mouse  Pro X Wireless Lightspeed Gaming Headset  Pro X Keyboard GX Red Linear  G840 XL Gaming Mousepad  As most of his loyal fans know, Shroud has been using Logitech products for his entire life, so it's fitting that this eventually happened. All of the above are respectively great products and buying them all together is definitely not a bad idea. Supposedly, the products will not be part of limited stock and are expected to remain available. The last time shroud was involved with a hardware producer like this was probably the HyperX Heroes initiative a while ago, but since then is no longer affiliated.  This massive announcement is comparable to his return to Twitch, The streamer is back to making waves within the community and viewership-wise he's been happily pulling his own weight and getting back in form. Right now, the sky is the ceiling for the streamer following his few months at Mixer and we're all excited to see what he does next.  Let us know your thoughts on the product line and if you're interested in picking it up in the comments section below! 

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies - hide message