Breakaway takes on the best at FIFA eNations Cup
Two young Kiwis are about to take on some of the best gamers on the planet at the inaugural FIFA eNations Cup, which is set to take place in London this weekend.
Campbell Knowles, 20, from Tauranga, and Harry Blackmore, 23, from Long Bay on Auckland’s North Shore, held off the challenge of hundreds of other gamers to become winners of the first-ever New Zealand Football FIFA 19 National Championship and are now looking to repeat that feat on 13-14 April in the English capital.
New Zealand have been drawn in Group B of the historic event and will take on Spain, USA, Mexico and China PR on FIFA 19, the industry-leading football simulation video game.
“I think we can definitely do some damage,” says Blackmore, who plays under the alias of Honey Badger.
“The group has got some tough games but definitely some winnable ones as well so hopefully we can put in a good shift.”
Now based in England, Honey Badger is a professional FIFA gamer for Hashtag United, a football and esports club that has a massive online following.
Team mate Knowles is known as airbrn and is not a fulltime FIFA player but competes for Breakaway Esports, New Zealand’s premier esports organisation.
“To be on the world stage representing New Zealand is not only an honour, it’s an amazing achievement,” Knowles says.
“There’s so many amazing people in this country that play this game and to be one of only two people representing your whole country is amazing.”
New Zealand is one of 20 teams competing at the FIFA eNations Cup with each participating country finding two representatives for the tournament.
As well as international recognition and total prize money of USD 100,000 for the teams, the players representing their national associations have the chance to earn as many as 1,500 FIFA 19 Global Series Points. Those count towards the FIFA 19 Global Series Rankings, which are crucial in qualifying for the FIFA eWorld Cup.
“I’m trying to develop as many pro points as I can and this tournament is massive for me – not just for representing New Zealand but for my whole career,” Blackmore says.
“If I can win this tournament I could press on and get to other events as well so it’s absolutely massive.”
The exact distribution of the prize money and Global Series Points can be found by clicking here
The FIFA eNations Cup will be streamed live on several online platforms, for more information and the tournament format please click here