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NSCG Esports student comes out on top in international FIFA competition

Newcastle College student Joshua Wakelin sees off tough competition to reign supreme in an online FIFA championship.

Talented Level 3 Esports student, Joshua Wakelin fought off competition from 512 other players to win the FIFA 23 Global Series (FGS) second EU qualifier.

The 17-year-old professional Esports player, who is on currently on loan to Belgium’s Club Brugge, won a cash prize and was awarded 750 Pro Points, ranking him among the top 10 pros in Europe and the top 200 players in the world.

Josh said: “I’ve been playing competitive Esports for around two to three years now and started getting into FIFA in 2021. For a whole year I struggled against the better players and spent a year in divisions five and six but eventually worked my way up by competing in and winning minor games.

“This was the biggest competition I’d been involved in though,” continued Josh, “and it was a rollercoaster from start to finish. I had some pivotal wins early on but I lost my one lifeline in the quarter finals and moved into the loser’s bracket.”

Undeterred, Josh said: “While I might have lost my safety net it spurred me on and I defeated every other player in my path which earned me a place in the finals. I then had to defeat the winner’s bracket finalist twice; once to knock him into the loser’s bracket and then once more to secure my victory.”

Josh’s first game was a breeze, seeing him sale through with a 6-4 finish, but it was a close call in the final game.

“I had a lot of luck during the tournament with an aggressive playstyle,” said Josh. “In most of my games I scored more than five goals to win but this time it was a lot harder, even so, I was able to beat my opponent 2-1 and came out victorious!”

Josh’s next major game could see him play in the ePremier League with Manchester United and he’s also set to play with Club Brugge in the 2v2 eClub World Cup competition.

Commenting on Josh’s win, Curriculum Leader Robin Tankard said, “Josh worked incredibly hard during the tournament and is a very driven and determined individual. He now has a real opportunity to progress to the highest level in Esports and we wish him all the very best.

“It is a privilege to have a professional player of his standing at NSCG and his success goes hand-in-hand with our excellent Esport provision and facilities. We are excited to see how he gets on, welcoming any opportunities to collaborate on future projects to promote Esports.”

The ePremier League tournament, played using the annual FIFA game, has been held each year since 2019 and is open to UK players aged 16 and over, plus any Club-signed professional gamers. Players must first go through online qualifiers and club play-offs before they are able to progress to the finals of the tournament.

To find out more about our Level 3 Extended Diploma in Esports, click here.