Professional EA FC player Tekkz explains why he chose to try and win the ePremier League with Man City instead of Liverpool
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Liverpool and Manchester City may be locked in a title race but a Reds supporter is vying to bring another Premier League trophy to the treble-winners.
Reigning Premier League champions City are chasing an unprecedented fourth title in a row under Pep Guardiola but over in esports, Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt is having to put allegiances to the side as he bids to help win the ePremier League with the Blues alongside fellow pro EA FC player and teammate Matias Bonanno.
Both players were snapped up by City in a huge pair of esports deals in the summer ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Matias was the first addition before Tekkz joined the party shortly after. However, the move is an interesting one given the 22-year-old is a massive Liverpool fan.
He won the inaugural ePremier League with Liverpool back in 2019 and has also represented England, claiming the FIFAe Nations Cup 2021 EU Qualifiers.
But he’s out to beat his beloved Liverpool with City and follow up his success from five years ago.
"It was just a good life decision for me,” Tekkz told SPORTbible, explaining why he joined City.
“Obviously, I'm joining an esports team and in esports, Man City are the best club at that. I see my job as esports. So that's why I came to them. If they do well in the Champions League, maybe I [will] get an eChampions League spot. So just things like that. Content wise, they'll give me better opportunities and so yeah, that's why I joined City."
“It's nice to play for Manchester City’s esports team. It’s a big tournament, the ePremier League and it's been a while since I won it personally. It’s Mati’s first time in the Premier League so hopefully we can come together and win.”
In addition to the trophy, a share of a massive £100,000 prize money is up for grabs – as are spots in the eChampions League and world championships.
Tekkz and Matias Bonanno have already made it through to the knockout stages on Sunday 24 March after an incredible, undefeated eight-game run made up of seven wins and one draw saw them secure passage to the quarter finals.
“It’s the most important competition of the year because we qualify for the eChampions League and eWorld Cup if we do well and win the competition,” Matias explained.
“For us it’s the most exciting one and so special.”
The prize money in esports is massive, with players earning a pretty penny living out a lot of teenage lads’ dreams. So, what’s the route into the field?
“I entered like a random tournament online and I managed to win,” Tekkz recalled.
“It was like, 25 pounds at the time and then I just entered more low-key tournaments.
“And then eventually, you just get into the space of playing like the top players in the world at the time. And it sort of just goes on from there.
“I thought I could be a pro. And I thought, when I first started, that I could win tournaments. But I think doing it for so long, I didn’t expect, when I was like 16 and started competing, to be 22 and still playing.”
Matias, meanwhile, got his professional contract after his FIFA 21 exploits and has previously played for the likes of Real Zaragoza, Real Betis and KRU Esports – the team founded by City legend and record goalscorer Sergio Aguero.
Julian Alvarez is continuing the Argentine legacy at City, but so too is Matias. And he is hopeful of ensuring City are on top in all departments.
He said: “It’s incredible. It’s the best team in the world right now so I have pride to be playing here. I have confidence in myself and my teammate. I think we are the best team in the competition.”
City are obsessed with success and that stretches to this department, where they have invested a lot of time and funds on top-tier coaching and therapy.
The smallest details can make the biggest difference in the clutch moments.
Tekkz revealed: “I can only speak for City but they’re all in. They’ve got loads of people behind the scenes helping us out, therapists and coaches – the sort of people you’d have at a football club but in the esports department. They take it just as seriously.
“You’ve got coaches who analyse your gameplay, your opponent’s gameplay and then you have therapists to make sure you’re in the right mental headspace.”
The man tasked with getting the best out of the City double act is Edu Castellano, who previously worked with Matias and helped him win the eLaLiga Grand Final.
He is essentially the esports equivalent of Pep Guardiola and is constantly trying to improve the players he works with.
“The best [way to improve] is learning from the best players in the world and seeing what's the difference between our game and their game,” Edu explained.
“Seeing those margins that could take us to a better position in which we can lead to winning titles and the best in the world.
“I think it's a different department, but I just like watching football and watching sports so of course, they [City] are the best and they have a lot of experience.
“It's good to hear from them even if it's a different sport or completely different thing. From mentality and stuff like that you can learn because of course, they've been playing football for 20 years.”
The knockout will be broadcast on 23 and 24 March across Premier League and EA SPORTS FC digital channels. Visit https://e.premierleague.com for more information.