Published on by smooks 9 Comments Updated on
FIFA esports received a big boost in recognition Monday at the annual Esports Industry Awards, as the current FIFA Interactive World Cup champion and Ultimate Team stalwart Spencer 'Unilad Gorilla' Ealing was crowned the UK's Esports Player of the Year.
Ealing, who was crowned the best FIFA player in the world back in August, did not have the best start to his 2017 campaign. The Birmingham native was knocked out in the group stages of the first FIFA Ultimate Team Championship Series regional finals, held in Paris back in February. He roared back with a vengeance in the Madrid Regional in May, but was unable to overcome the final hurdle, placing second in the competition. In the FUT Champions Berlin Grand Final, he failed to even make the final. Ultimately though, Gorilla had the last laugh with his FIWC win in August.
"Last year, I was nominated for the Esports Player of the Year; unfortunately I didn't win it," said Ealing, after his win. "I knew I was nominated for that award again this year, and also the UK Player of the Year. I thought I had a chance of winning, and I did, so it's a huge privilege and tops off a great year for me."
Futhead and YouTube community influencer Chu 'Chu Boi' Morah was present at the event, as was Spencer 'Spencer FC' Owen:
Though he was the only FIFA esports player to come away with an award from the ceremonies, Ealing was not the only one nominated. Shaun 'Shellzz' Springette, whose remarkable run in the Berlin Grand Final shocked everybody, was up for Esports Rookie of the Year in the console category, but fell to Victor 'Punk' Woodley, an 18-year old American Street Fighter V player. Gorilla came up short to Matthew 'Formal' Piper, a Call of Duty esports pro (and former Halo standout), in the Esports Player of the Year category. "FIFA 17" was up for an Industry award, Esports Game of the Year, which it lost to "Counter Strike: Global Offensive".