Spencer "Gorilla" Ealing: The Words of a World Champion
July 18th prior to the start of the 2017 FIWC Championship round:
Spencer "Gorilla" Ealing a calm and collected 20 year old walks onto the prominent center stage, fresh off a 7-2 victory in the final round of the Xbox One division. Cameras flash and the crowd cheers, yet all the commotion he is surrounded by does not seem to faze the hardened professional. Play commenced and history was made soon after, as Gorilla claimed the title of 2017 FIFA Interactive World Cup Champion.
We had a chance to speak with Spencer and talk to him about his experience throughout his time competing in the 2017 FIWC.
The esports company: Going into the tournament did you believe you were going to win?
Spencer: Absolutely. I was always positive going into the tournament – it’s the only mentality to have. I was always focused on becoming champion and any other thoughts didn’t come into my mind.
When did you start feeling like you had a chance to become the champion?
Going down 3-1 in the first leg of the final wasn’t ideal but Deto played some great FIFA throughout. Bringing it back to 3-3 and having 3 away goals was a big moment for me and then as soon as I scored the 2nd goal in the XBOX leg – I started to think that would be it.
Did you feel comfortable with your game all three days of competition?
The group stages I started off very slowly but heading into the knockout stage I found my form and thought I played the way I wanted, I felt more comfortable from that point onwards.
Is there anything about how you played in the tournament you would have liked to change?
Start off quicker from the get go rather than later on in the tournament. It takes me some time to adapt to the situation and different environments.
Who was the best/toughest player you faced this year?
I would have to say "Deto", his play style is majorly different from most players. He likes to keep the ball and only attack when it's safe to do so, keeping the ball for long periods of the game. With the way he played I had to adapt and change my tactics to counter him. It worked.
Who was your biggest support in becoming champion?
Sean was obviously a big part in me winning the title so I would have to say him but my family and friends are also a big support throughout the year.
How did having Sean Allen there affect your gameplay?
Sean was a massive influence on me throughout the whole tournament. Everything from motivation to tactical support to simply cheering me on from the sidelines – he had everything I could need from a coach. It’s safe to say that without him I wouldn’t be FIWC champion.
How did you get started working with Sean Allen as your coach?
I’ve known Sean for a while now and always admired his style of play – it’s very similar to mine. He’s also got a great understanding of the game and is really good at identifying the little things that most wouldn’t notice – like tactical changes for example. I asked if he’d be able to act as my coach and luckily for me he agreed, it was great to share the winning moment with him on stage.
Do you have any big plans for your $200,000 winning?
Buy FIFA 18? Maybe treat myself to a few packs as well. It’s been a few weeks since the final now so everything is finally starting to settle down. I think I’ll treat myself to a holiday and properly get away but other than that I think I’ll do something boring – such as buying a house or something.
What was your favorite part of the Grand Final?
I’d have to say the final whistle. Being confirmed champion was a great feeling, and then savoring that moment on stage was one that I’ll never forget.
Do you have a favorite memory from playing FIFA17?
I’d be lying if I said winning FIWC wasn’t my favorite memory – it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Who do you want to meet at the FIFA Football Awards?
Definitely Cristiano Ronaldo. Obviously winning in London has made me FIWC champion and so I’d love to meet the Ballon d’Or winner and the best footballer in world. Hopefully have a game of FIFA with him as well.
How was it to be signed by UNILAD? Who came up with the idea that you could play for UNILAD?
Very exciting. They approached me earlier this year with the opportunity to play for them, and at the time I had a few offers so really had to consider what was the best move for me, and my career. I listened to what UNILAD were offering and their plans were really exciting and aligned with what I want to achieve.
Why have you chosen “Gorilla” as your gamertag?
Back when I was around 13/14 my brother and I had similar gamertags that included animals. His was "Llama", mine was "Gorilla", don't ask why though.
How do you plan to prepare for the next season?
Same as I always do, nothing has changed. Put the time into the game and hope to win more trophies this year.
What are your goals for next season?
Obviously winning FIWC is the biggest achievement in my career. I want to continue winning tournaments and who knows maybe defend my FIWC title?
Thank you very much for the interview Spencer!
Photo credits: FIWC/FIFA