One year ago, Spencer Ealing was your typical teenage boy. His time was balanced between completing his final year of education, spending time with his family, following his beloved team West Bromwich Albion and more importantly, beating his friends on FIFA.
However, little did Spencer or his family know, the latter of Ealing’s hobbies would go on to change his life forever.
We originally published this story back in 2015 when Spencer Ealing was a rising star in the FIFA eSports scene. A year later and with several titles under his belt, we take a look back.
Growing up as a football enthusiast, the FIFA video game franchise tends to play a large role in most people’s childhoods, more than our parents would approve. However, as a young lad, there is no better feeling than humiliating your closest friends in a 5-0 dominating victory, and watching them reluctantly write their FIFA apology. Thankfully, for Spencer, these apologies were typically issued to him rather than by him.
Having played FIFA for “as long as [he] can remember”, Spencer had spent his youth honing his abilities within the football simulator, as he thrashed his friends, siblings and online opponents. Initially, not much notice was taken of Spencer’s skill, and he continued to play FIFA in a traditional manner.
As his potential continued to grow, so did his interest, and not before long Spencer stumbled upon the world of competitive gaming. Through a promotional video by YouTube sensation KSI, Spencer discovered Gfinity, and soon after he immediately joined our continuously growing family.
Within no time, Spencer made his mark on the community, as his dedication, enthusiasm and loyalty earned him the role of FIFA Administrator. However, as he emerged himself in the world of eSports, it quickly became apparent that Spencer possessed a level of skill that rivalled some of the most talented FIFA players in the world.
Upon FIFA 14, Spencer began to test himself against the most elite players, competing in several weekly tournaments hosted by Gfinity. Although he failed to take home a gold medal, Spencer managed to qualify for the final of several online tournaments, reiterating his presence within the community, while also issuing him with the confidence to keep playing.
Thankfully, Spencer did continue to compete at a competitive level, and FIFA 15 has been an entirely different story. Spencer has gone on to dominate the European scene, winning a countless number of online tournaments. In addition to this, Spencer is also the reigning FIFA Spring Masters I champion, following the victory of his first ever LAN event.
In a mere 12 months, ‘A Huge Gorilla’ has become one of the most renowned, admired and feared names within the competitive FIFA community, as Spencer has transformed himself from Admin to Online Qualifier to Gfinity Champion.
As we edge closer to the start of the second instalment of the Gfinity Spring Masters, we managed to take some time out of Spencer’s busy schedule to discuss his rise to fame, his recent win and whether we’ll see him regain his Gfinity Crown this weekend.
Rahul: Firstly, could you please introduce yourself?
Spencer: I’m Spencer Ealing, I’m 18 and I'm from Birmingham
R: How old were you when you first began playing FIFA?
S: Ever since I can remember really. Erm… 2007 I think? Something like that
R: When did it become apparent that you were clearly better than most people?
S: Since last FIFA.
I got to a few online Gfinity cup finals, but obviously this FIFA has been my main game, where I have won quite a bit.
R: How did you discover competitive gaming?
S: First it was Virgin Gaming back in the day, but apart from that it’s all been Gfinity.
It started when KSI made that video, if you can remember. I joined the website and then applied to be an Admin.
It all started from that.
R: How long have you been competing at a professional level?
S: Well, this FIFA (FIFA 15), so 6-8 months.
R: Did you ever believe you would find yourself in this situation?
S: Nah, (laughs) Nah..
I just played for the money and pride.
I never thought it would ever get his big
R: Sorry, just to clarify, you yourself used to be an Admin?
S: Yeah, I’m not entirely sure for how long, but I believe it was around 6 months.
R: Okay, that’s pretty cool. So, as a home-grown Gfinity player, do you believe you can make a career out of this?
S: Yeah, but my family don’t understand it.
Still? After you won our first FIFA Spring Masters?
I mean, it’s always going to be the case, isn’t it.
As you said, I won the first Gfinity Masters, and I’m going to London for the second time next week, so hopefully I can win that again.
R: What is your end goal?
S: It’s just a career at the moment.
I’m just going to take it a step at a time and see where it takes me.
R: What do you plan on doing with your winnings?
S: I’m just going to keep it for now.
The plan is to save it.
R: What would you say to aspiring players?
S: If you think you’re decent at FIFA, you should try and compete against the best players, enter Gfinity tournaments, and learn off them. That’s what I did.
Obviously you aren’t going to win everything, that’s what I’ve realised
You’ve just got to learn how to take a loss really and try and improve yourself every game.
R: How confident were you heading into the masters?
S: I wasn’t.. (laughs).
I was so nervous.
When I was playing against Brian in the semi-finals and he scored that last minute offside goal.. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was going to have a heart attack on the stage.
Obviously that was my first event and Brian is one of the best players I’ve played against.
I still can’t believe I won it.
R: But it seems like you can’t stop winning now, haven’t you won most of the recent online tournaments?
S: Yeah, I’ve won two Play Like A Legend tournaments in a row.
R: So with the new PLAL tournaments, what do you prefer? Standard FIFA or Ultimate Team?
S: Ultimate Team.
I prefer the fast paced gameplay, it suits my style.
R: Heading into the Gfinity FIFA Spring Master I, how aware were your opponents of you?
S: Quite a lot of them had some idea of my online success. However LAN is so different to online, with people watching you and a different game speed.
I’ll be honest with you, my aim was to simply get out the Groups and take it a game at a time. I never believed I would win the whole event.
R: How aware were you of your opponents?
S: Once you play a player a certain amount of times, you know how they play and you know what to expect.
In the finals, he [Ferperry] just played into my hands.
R: So, once again, just to clarify, was the previous Masters event your first ever LAN?
R: How do you feel heading into the new Gfinity Arena then?
S: I fancy my chances, but obviously I won’t head into the event expecting to win it.
However, I do think I’m better than most the players at Ultimate Team, so it gives me an edge over them.
If I play like I did last time, I don’t see why I can't win it.
R: Will we see you take home back to back championships?
S: That’s the dream.
I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see.
I’ll hope to and now that I’ve joined exceL, I’ll have a bit of morale support with me, so that should help.
R: Alright, now before I let you go, I need to ask you a question that I’m sure the community needs an answer to. What is ‘A Huge Gorilla’? Where does that name come from?
S: Ahh, I’ve been asked this so many times.
Basically, when I was younger me, my brother and one of our mates decided to change our Gamertags to 'A' 'something' 'animal'. But, the word to describe the animal had to start with the letter 'H'.
So ‘A Hairy Hippo’, ‘A Hungry Llama’ and ‘A Huge Gorilla’.
I don’t know. Why not ‘H’?
(laughs) Fair enough. Alright, well thank you for your time Spencer, and I wish you the best of luck for this weekend.
Tickets for this weekend's FIFA Spring Masters II are still available at gfinity.net/tickets as well as tickets to all our upcoming Spring Master events.
Saturday and Sunday's matches will be streamed live at twitch.tv/GfinityTV
Keep up-to-date with all the latest gaming and eSports news via our Twitter: @GfinityOnline