Playing FIFA with your mates has become a classic national pastime in Australia, with the football video game finding huge mainstream success. Nate Patrick, however, believes that Aussies can target FIFA glory much bigger than having one up on your mate.

After finishing up work with Australia’s first professional FIFA tournament, the E-League, Nate has launched N8 Esports – on a mission to provide analysis, coaching, and mentoring for Australian FIFA stars.

Nate spoke to Tribefire about why he started N8 Esports, describing how despite the massive FIFA player base in Australia, the number of competitors in major tournaments has been disappointing

“This has nothing to do with the raw ability of our competitors, but rather with the lack of infrastructure and professional expertise available to them.”

Operating out of Sydney’s Esports High Performance Centre in Moore Park, N8 Esports promises to accelerate the pathway for talented FIFA players looking to take on the world.

Western Sydney Wanderers FIFA star Rick Tran at the High Performance Centre

“N8 Esports now provides Australian competitors with the world-class facilities and analysis they need to reach their full potential.

“We believe in Australia’s EA SPORTS FIFA competitors, and we’re not just going to help them qualify for major tournaments – we’re going to help them win.”

Despite the popular success of FIFA worldwide over the past two decades, EA SPORTS have only recently started upscaling their focus on esports. This has left them with a lot of work to do.

“As an esport, EA SPORTS FIFA is still in its infancy, particularly when compared to titles such as League of Legends, and Overwatch.

“The global esports market is forecasted to be worth over 1.5 billion dollars in 2020. If EA continue to develop EA SPORTS FIFA as an esport, it can be a sizable chunk of that pie.”

The tide is definitely turning, with the international competitive scene growing quickly each year. Australia has helped lead the way with this year’s E-League, which brought together the best local FIFA players under professional A-League football clubs.

Nate on E-League coverage

Nate was a big part of commentary and analysis for what was a hugely successful debut season.

“To be honest, we were blown away by the audience size of the E-League. Even with all the research and preparation we had done, there’s always an element of doubt – is the format engaging, will we please our target audience, will people even know it’s on?!

“And then we saw the numbers after the first round – hundreds of thousands of viewers – and any nerves were immediately put to rest!  A lot of the credit must go to FOX SPORTS and NEP for the brilliant production – their set-up and professionalism was up there with anything I’ve seen from around the world.”

Image result for eleague fifa australia
Credit: https://www.fourfourtwo.com.au/news/a-whole-new-ballgame-e-league-ratings-trumping-the-a-league-489613

Nate believes that A-League clubs will start to realise their esports teams as a vital part of their structure.

“Due to football’s global footprint, A-League clubs have a unique opportunity to bring EA SPORTS FIFA into their structure.

“EA SPORTS FIFA offers them worldwide brand exposure that the other [sports] codes can only dream about. During the Gfinity Qualifier broadcast, ChuBoi spent a good five minutes just talking about how much he loves the Western Sydney Wanderers jersey!

“The only future I can see is one where EA SPORTS FIFA is a key part of every A-League club.”

So what do you do if you want to take your FIFA game to the next level? Now is the perfect time to start taking this seriously. The Australian community is growing, passionate and supportive.

“If you’d like to be signed by an A-League or esports club, then get involved in the Australian EA SPORTS FIFA community. The best part of our scene is the people, because we truly work together to succeed.

“My favourite thing about the E-League was how the competitors, the production crew, the talent – everyone – came together to create something magnificent. Don’t get me wrong – it was fiercely competitive, but we were all (and still are) genuine friends too.

“That companionship was most clearly demonstrated after the Grand Final, when all of the competitors (and talent) joined in the celebrations as Samer and Sydney FC lifted the trophy. Ultimately, we’re all in it together to grow the EA SPORTS FIFA scene, and growth means more opportunities for budding competitors, and more chances to collaborate with one another.”

N8 Esports is going to play a hugely pivotal role in connecting talent with the support and infrastructure they need. Nate describes how they are not just looking for skill, but determination and passion.

“We at N8 Esports love the game, and we want to work with those who share our passion. If you reach the top of your profession, but you’re deeply unhappy, then what’s the point?

“It’s not about engaging with who has the best Weekend League results, it’s about investing in competitors who have a burning desire to improve. That’s why we don’t just focus on elements of gameplay, but we also work with competitors to develop their mental focus, and emotional wellbeing.”

If you are looking to get involved in the FIFA community, N8 Esports are planning some community events to be held in the Esports High Performance Centre. Watch this space!

Follow N8 Esports on Twitter!

Read our interview with E-League commentator Jarrad Nance.

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