We sat down with former FIFA Interactive World Cup Champion, Abdulaziz Alshehri, to hear what he’s most looking forward to at gamescom 2018 and in FIFA 19.
Known as “Mr. Done” on social media, the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia native holds an impressive profile. He won the FIFA championship in Saudi Arabia four times in a row, and the Middle East championship three times. In 2015, he was crowned the FIFA Interactive World Cup champion, becoming the first Saudi world champion.
The Middle East region clearly has a deep pool of highly-talented FIFA players, with Abdulaziz becoming the first champion in the region, and Saudi Arabia’s Mosaad 'Msdossary' Aldossary winning the FIFA 18 World Championship in London this month.
How did you first get introduced to FIFA?
My brother first told me about the game. He told me it has a unique mode (which is Pro Clubs). At first, I didn’t want to play - but finally I ended up in love with it - haha!
How did your career develop? Did you start out playing with a competitive attitude or did that come later on?
I had the opportunity to face off the Middle East Champion in 2009. After beating him I started playing in online tournaments and was winning 98% of the tournaments that I joined. That’s how I started to develop my career and take it to the next level.
Do you use any specific FIFA training methods?
Yes, sometimes I practice for every single situation: practice for only defending, attacking and possession. I prepare myself for every situation that might come up.
Which teams and formations do you usually play?
It depends on my opponents’ formations, but mostly I enjoy keeping the ball, and play High Pressure when I don’t have the ball.
What are some of the highlights from your gamescom 2017 experience?
It was amazing. The EA Lounge was full of whatever you wanted: food, drinks, games (the newest games). In addition to that, I got to meet some of the EA guys and talk with them about the game and have some fun playing games against them. We also got the chance to go and watch some Bundesliga games. I loved it!
What are you most looking forward to this year at gamescom?
Absolutely FIFA 19. It’s the game that I’m very much looking forward to. I already played it at EA Play, but I’m pretty sure there will be more things to see like Ultimate Team and Pro Clubs at gamescom.
Also, I will be at gamescom Congress to be a speaker and talk about my journey as a pro FIFA player and a world champion from the Middle East. I really can’t wait for that.
How do you prepare yourself mentally before competing in FIFA?
I always try to relax and rest my mind in the best possible way. That’s why I don’t play any FIFA games 2 - 3 days before a tournament. It’s a mental game, and your mind needs to have so much rest before the storm begins.
Where do you predict the Middle East is headed in terms of competitive gaming?
Everything takes time. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before we see the Middle East competitive side host one of the biggest EA events like FIFA Eworld Cup or one of EA’s major events (Global Series). We have the tools and we have the passion. We only need some support from EA and FIFA to make this happen. Alhilal Saudi Club has just announced its new eSports team. Maybe one day the team will be able to host one of EA’s events in the club - why not?!
What are you looking forward to most in FIFA 19 and what is the first thing you want to do in the game?
Oh! So many things. I would love to know the new Icons, the new gameplay features, FUT Champions and of course that UEFA Champions League and what EA will bring to their fans with this new feature specifically!
Want to learn more about FIFA 19? Visit the game’s website.
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