Tag Archives: FIFA 17

David Bytheway – official Fifa player for Wolfsburg

For most people, football gaming is a recreational activity, but that is far from the case for VFL Wolfsburg’s David Bytheway.

The 23-year-old is widely considered as one of the best Fifa players in the world, and his reputation has only continued to grow since signing for the Bundesliga outfit earlier this year.

Bytheway is very proud to be the first British gamer to be snapped up by a professional football club.

“It would feel amazing at any point [to represent a huge football club as a gamer], but to be the first British gamer to be signed to a club is a massive achievement,” expresses Bytheway.

“There can only ever be one person who is the first. I just want to repay the faith they have in me with tournament wins.”

Online leagues

The recruitment of elite-level gamers by football clubs is a relatively new development, and Bytheway admits he didn’t set out to become a professional.

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©David Bytheway’s official Facebook page

“I got into professional gaming purely by chance,” he reveals.

“I was playing Fifa and only wanted to beat my friends, no other goal. When I got to that stage, I wanted to play better people so starting looking for online leagues.

“That is where I started playing some of the best players in the country and where I was first introduced to e-sports [also known as electronic ports]. I have been doing this for the past seven years.”

In that time, Bytheway has had his console highs and lows.

“My high is definitely finishing second at the Interactive World Cup in 2014. It is our world championships and felt amazing. It was also my 21st birthday the same day.

“The lowest was probably recently in a YouTube tournament with other football clubs,” he confesses.

“I lost three out of four games. It was within the first week of Fifa 17 [being released] and I had barely played it, which is my reason. But it was still an awful feeling.”

Perks

Bytheway is aiming to eradicate that feeling with some stellar performances for Wolfsburg, but how did the link-up come about?

“I was lucky enough to be a part of the Stark Talent agency who have the relationship with Wolfsburg, and I’m grateful for the opportunity they have given me,” he said.

“I think we are very close to a number of clubs announcing back-to-back that they have entered the scene”

And while there may be pressure attached to being an official Fifa player, there are also many perks.

“I often go to the games, which is great,” reveals Bytheway, who is currently working in marketing in central London.

“I also get treated just like one of their squad players with behind the scenes access and I have met quite a few of the first team.”

Pressure

What advice does he have for anyone who plays Fifa for fun but thinks they could take it to another level?

“With friends, everyone wants to win but losing isn’t the worst thing ever. But when you are known for being one of the best, the pressure just doubles.

“When you are in a competitive game, you have to be one hundred percent focused one hundred percent of the time.

“One bad player switch, one wrong pass, one wrong skill move and you can lose the game.

Bytheway thinks other opportunities like the one he took are in the pipeline, with West Ham recruiting at least one official Fifa player and other Premier League clubs set to follow suit.

“I think we are very close to a number of clubs announcing back-to-back that they have entered the scene,” he said.

It’s a great opportunity for them to enter a new growing market and would be stupid of them not to at least consider it.”

Sport or not?

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©EA Sports

Despite the rise of e-sports and its growing recognition as a sport, many still refuse to accept it as such.

But Bytheway rejects any notion that competitive video gaming cannot be mentioned in the same breath as chess or snooker, for example.

“In my experience, it’s more of the older generation who refuse to accept it as a sport, and I can see why they don’t like it,” he said.

“It starts off with people just playing games in their bedroom, but the difference is massive,” he emphasises.

“When I play, I’m playing with the best players in the world.

“I compare it with playing football in the park and Barcelona playing in Champions League. It’s the same sport but different levels.

“They struggle to accept it as a sport because there’s no physical input, but that’s because it’s a mental sport.

“There are many sports with minimum physical input. Chess, snooker and many others. e-sports is just as much of a sport as they are.”

Feature image ©David Bytheway’s official Facebook page. Follow David on Twitter @DaveBtwFIFA

Six Reasons why FIFA keeps outselling PES

FIFA is like the popular kid at school. It barely tries to impress, treats most people like crap but remains loved by everyone.

Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) is like one of those perfectly nice but awkward kids that resorts to giving away free sweets just for a moment of attention while always somehow remaining unnoticed.

According to analyst Daniel Ahmad’s Twitter feed, FIFA 17 has sold 40 times more copies than PES 17, having shifted more than 1.1 million units while PES couldn’t even reach 50k. It’s a pattern that been repeated in recent year. Here’s a few reasons why this might be:

Licences: While FIFA has the rights to all the official club and player names, PES has to improvise. Classic examples include: London FC (Chelsea), Hampshire Red (Southampton) and my personal favourite, Man Blue (Man City). Bonus example: back in the day Cafu’s name was Facu.

Peer pressure: If I went out and bought PES I’d have no-one to play it with because everyone else has FIFA. The EA Sports game has become the norm and it feels like this snowball is just getting bigger and bigger.

The name: I don’t have to go out and do a survey to know that about 99% of British fans call the beautiful game football, not soccer. This is a pretty serious deal. I have seen armies of keyboard warriors threaten anyone who disagrees. I think Konami would be taken more seriously if they called it Pro Evolution Football but I guess PEF doesn’t quite have the same ring as PES.

Game play: The fast pace and easy scoring always made PES feel like an arcade game while FIFA’s painstaking attention to detail, steady gameplay and genuine feeling of accomplishment after scoring  gives it more of a simulator vibe.

Barcelona: The main selling point for PES 17 is its licence for Barcelona. As great as this is, it’s a well-known fact that if you’re playing with a friend or online and you pick Barcelona you will be labelled as someone with no skill whatsoever. I know this because I quite often play as Barcelona.

Soundtracks: Both games have always had decent soundtracks but FIFA always seems to have the edge by including more songs. This is especially helpful when you’re spending hours and hours playing career mode. Listening to the same 11 songs on PES while playing a 40+ matches season can become more than tedious.

From a personal standpoint I prefer FIFA simply because it’s something that I’m more accustomed to. The last Pro Evolution Soccer instalment I owned was 14.

As mentioned in my second point, FIFA is a game that’s played by all my friends and their minds are made up as much as mine. Even if I’d want to give the new PES a try I don’t really fancy spending £55 on a game I’m sceptical about, and there’s no-one I could borrow it from. There’s always demos but I feel they never give a big enough picture and feel of the game.

Can it ever change?

I have seen a lot of people on social media who don’t think FIFA 17 is that great. The main criticisms were that player statistics don’t work properly (Messi outjumping Ibrahimović for a header or Mertesacker keeping pace with Sterling?) and set-piece play becoming unnecessarily complicated.

Even the new ‘Journey’ mode has been criticised for being only one season long.

In addition, Pro Evolution Soccer 17 has received very positive reviews overall and its overall score was lower than FIFA only by a tiny margin.

Maybe this year could be the turning point in the football gaming industry where the unnoticed kid at school finally gets their lucky break….