FIFA 16 FA Cup: Interview
Many of us have spent time playing FIFA and I’m sure some of you will be aware that professional gaming is on the rise. Last weekend whilst Blues were fighting for survival Wembley was hosting the FA Cup, the FIFA 16 FA cup, as they tried to mirror life of the real FA Cup. The winner would receive the honour of walking the steps and lifting the FA Cup, I caught up with Blues representative, Parm Singh, to find out a bit more and see how the day went.
I put a few questions to Parm and this is what was said;
Do you game professionally or how did you get involved?
No I’m not a professional gamer, I know there’s good money in it and so I have looked into it a little so getting involved was something I always wanted to do. I’m like any other lad, enjoy my gaming, play the usual FIFA, COD, those sort of games but never professionally.
I saw an ad for a competition through Blues and just thought I’d give it a go, I applied loads, used every email going from my work email to the Mrs old dear’s. I got the call to play a couple of games online against a few others that applied. I beat them and a few days later I got a call to say I was going to Wembley.
What was the day itself like?
Well building up to the day I’d been doing a bit of training, getting a bit of time in on FIFA so I was ready, obviously it was the Bristol game so the lads that would have been interested in coming with me were all either at the game or following it so I went to London on my todd, each representative could bring 4 fans. I got there about 9 and the tournament started at 10, but they wouldn’t let you in a minute before.
Anyway as I walked in I saw this lad in a green skinny tracksuit, ankles on show, top knot on his head and I instantly had a dislike for him. I’d not spoken to him or anything yet but just had this feeling that I wouldn’t like him, then he turned out to be the vile representative, so I think I must have sensed that.
They gave us a tour around the stadium first and as we walked out the tunnel, on the big screen, all our names were scrolling through with the club crest next to them. I was wearing my Blues shirt and some bloke walked up to me and knew me by name, it turned out he was the bloke who’d organised the tournament and he’d learnt everyone’s name and what club they were representing.
We were all then taken to the fifth floor and in this room there was TV’s and Playstation’s everywhere, most of the gamers went for these but I’d spotted the FA Cup and so went over and looked at this for a bit getting a picture with it as well.
Colin Murray (Sports presenter) was hosting the event and he was cracking the banter, ripping it into the different teams. Rachel Stringer (FA Journalist) was also there so I spoke to her for a bit too.
The first fixture mirrored the first fixture your club played so I had Newcastle, the first lot of teams started playing at about 11 O’Clock, there were different gaming areas set up in the tunnel, the changing room, the physio room and on the pitch.
I won the first fixture 2-0 and the next draw was about an hour after the initial game, they drew the fixtures using the proper balls which was a nice touch. My next fixture was against Watford which we played in the changing rooms, I won 3-0 and then there was a break and lunch was provided, it was a good spread.
The next match was against Eastleigh, however as Eastleigh FC is non-league and these aren’t on FIFA they were playing with Fleetwood. I got on with these lads and it was a close game, the competition was getting stronger, it was a tied game but I then went on to win 3-0. The Eastleigh fans were then asking me “How do you make Blues look so good” so I had to tell them “We’re not shit, we’re just on a bad run at the moment.”
As the afternoon drew on obviously I wanted to keep track of the Blues score, all the teles had the tournament games on but I managed to get one of them to have Sky Sports News. I was watching what was happening and as Blackburn scored I was gutted, then I had to play my match. Luckily I’d brought my laptop so while I was playing I set that up to see the results come in, as it was confirmed we were safe I literally dashed my pad in celebration in the middle of the game.
I was chuffed we’d won and then I won my game so was moving onto the next opponent. There was us, Sunderland, Chelsea and another team. I’d heard the Sunderland geezer was good, he’d been smashing in some big score line’s. The Chelsea geezer wasn’t that good, he just had a good team, anyway I was hoping not to get drawn against Sunderland but we did.
Chelsea went first and beat their opponent then it was my turn, we were playing pitch side now right on the halfway line by the dugout. You couldn’t switch the team up or swap pads and that but the Sunderland lad came up and had a modded [Modified] pad and everything. Being on the pitch side the sun was beaming down on the screen to the point I couldn’t see, Colin Murray said that was part of the intention, to separate out “the men.”
I had the Eastleigh fans with me and they were singing Keep Right On, I had to teach them the words and then they sang it in the wrong tune, they’d never heard it before I couldn’t believe it. I taught them the tune but unfortunately I lost. Sunderland went on to win it and lift the trophy and I was gutted, when the tournament had finished we stuck around for a bit and I got a rematch. Again I lost so I accepted his win, he was class though, quite young.
It was a full day you know, I got there at 9 and got home about 7. I was exhausted but it was worth it, it was something I’d never done before but I really enjoyed it.
So you reached the Semi’s, where to next for you?
Well as I say I don’t do it professionally but after that I’m looking into it a bit more, I know there’s some serious money in gaming and I feel like I did quite well in that tournament so I’d be interested in more.
I’m also considering opening up a gaming club in Digbeth, I’ve been to the one by the trainstation and if I’m honest it’s not somewhere that me and you would really fit in, it’s a bit geeky. I’d like to open one where more people could go and get gaming into a new audience.
What do you think of the appointment of Redknapp?
First of all, fair play to him for taking on the challenge, he stuck his neck on the line when he didn’t have to. He must have come in and told the lads to get back to basics, he’s brought Morro back into the squad too which I’m buzzing about.
I like the no fancy shit at the back, I think Zola tried to do it with players that can’t play that way and it knocked their confidence. It’s mad to think Redknapp brought that confidence back so quick and another year in charge I think that’ll be huge.
It’s great to finally have some people in the club with some real proven football knowledge, although I’m ignoring the rumors of high profile players signing like Defoe and Crouch but I do think he’ll bring in a bit more quality too.
I was obviously buzzing that we stayed up but I couldn’t celebrate too much because I just thought to myself the players have let themselves down, two wins in what 25 and then they manage two in three, it’s baffling. Although I do think that the fans boosted performances in the end and that’s why that Paul Suen got him tied down so quickly. It just shows how important the fans are.
You got to the semi-finals as Blues but the women are in the finals this weekend, what’s your prediction?
I don’t know enough about the women, I did want to go to be fair, I thought it would be class but the lads I usually go with weren’t feeling it. I think if the Man City women have as much money pumped into them as the men it’s probably going to be in their favour.
I think it’ll be a good game and I’m going to say that the Blues will just nick it!
Finally, LocktheLocks focuses on Football and Fashion, what’s your greatest football memory and what’s your favourite item of clothing past or present.
Ah my favourite football memory has to be when we played Maribor at home. It was a class game and the atmosphere was just, wow. I was gutted we got knocked out the competition on goal difference.
I didn’t go to Brugge, at the time I didn’t really have anyone to go with and my parents aren’t that into football, I really wish I’d gone though now.
My favourite item of clothing, well at the moment I’m loving Cortez’s, I’ve got like three pairs. The other week I was up town and needed a new pair, I went into JD but there wasn’t any there so I picked up some Puma’s. I passed Footlocker, saw some Cortez so got them and returned the Puma’s. They’re just so comfy!
It’s a huge congratulations from us to Parm, the Semi-Finals is a great result and I think he’s done Blues proud. If you’re interested in the FIFA Interactive World Cup has closed it’s qualifying rounds but will be taking place in August.