Is Adebayo Akinfenwa esports ready?! Well, he appears to be a huge fan.
Most players in the third tier of English football aren’t usually household names. That is unless you are Adebayo Akinfenwa, aka the Beast. He may play for Wycombe Wanderers, but every FIFA fan knows his name – and for a good reason. This 16 stone behemoth has been the strongest player on FIFA for years now, and in the process has become a cult hero amongst FIFA players across the globe.
With his fame has come his chance to become a popular brand in his own right, especially amongst the gaming community. So what does Akinfenwa think of, not only FIFA but, gaming in general? Well, we had the distinct pleasure of chatting with the Beast to find out his thoughts.
They need to increase my defensive stats and dribbling,” Adebayo said about his FIFA 18 card.
“What I like about fifa is that every year they add different dynamic and it gets more lifelike, to play it as a game, the celebrations, the likeness they have to the game is great.”
One thing we have seen this year in FIFA 18 is the addition of unique player cards. Akinfenwa was given a truly terrifying one that had a whopping 99 defending and 95 pace stats. So what does the Beast’s Ultimate Team look like? Well, it is a genuinely frightening squad, with Akinfenwa being the highest rated player in the team.
I have my Akinfenwa 99 rating, Messi, Ronaldo and behind Ronaldo is midfield Dele Alli, Pogba and Kante. My goalie is Mignolet and Virgil and Lovren at centre back. Kyle Walker at right back, Rose at left back and my wingers when I use them are Salah on the right and Sterling on the other side.”
In recent years, we’ve witnessed more and more footballers getting involved in both casual gaming, and esports. Dele Alli is streaming on Twitch with Harry Kane, and David Meyler is one of the biggest names in the FIFA scene. As for Akinfenwa, he has been very involved with creating his own YouTube channel.
So what is Akinfenwa’s take on how players, especially younger ones, use their spare time?
I think that players are starting to realise they’re actually good at it and with social media blowing up as it is, most footballers are good at most games.”
“It’s what we do on away trips and when we finish training. The new generation is starting to see there’s a market for it and its enjoyment, so I believe you’ll see more and more of the new generations seeing it and recording themselves doing it. It’s something footballers and games and consoles go hand in hand.”
When he isn’t destroying defenders or posting on Youtube, the 35-year-old has been actively involved with GFinity during both their FIFA 18 and Street Fighter events.
“I worked with the producers on a couple of FIFA projects for EA and was the ambassador for FIFA 18, and they had an idea for GAME ON.”
I wanted to get involved because if you spoke to someone who said they’re a gamer for a living – I was intrigued to get to know their mindset.”
“They get ready for a game like I get ready and practice as I practice and I was so intrigued, and I was so up for it.”
“They told me the concept, and it all went from there and the last 8-10 weeks have shot by its been fun, I’m glad I’ve been a part of it.”
We saw the Beast taking part in the Gfinity Elite Series 3, an event he believed UniLad would take thanks to Gorilla. However, we were left with a bit of a surprise as FNTATIC was crowned champions.
So what can we see from the Beast in the future? Well, he has confirmed that he is striving to continue being one of the biggest cult names in FIFA – especially if he gets another great Ultimate Team card in FIFA 19.
Adebayo Akinfenwa is the presenter of Gfinity Elite Series’ official round-up show ‘Game On’. You can catch up with all the content from this season including the FIFA 18 finals via Gfinity’s Facebook Page’