ERIC NGIGE aka DEMON
A candid conversation with the reigning Kenyan FIFA champion on his esports journey, eLigue1 finals in France & Gamrx competition in Nigeria.
Congratulations on being the reigning Kenyan champion in FIFA! Can you tell us about your journey & how you became involved in competitive gaming?
Thank you. I started playing FIFA when I was 10 yrs. Mostly cause of my big bro as I would follow him when he went to play video games. Competitively, I started gaming in 2020. After the COVID period, more major tournaments came up and I would attend them consistently.
Representing Kenya in the eLigue1 esports tournament in Paris must have been an incredible experience. Can you share some highlights and challenges you faced during the tournament?
It was an incredible experience. I met other gamers from all over the globe, some of whom we still talk to. It was nice going to the Eiffel Tower, attending a PSG game and seeing some of my favourite football stars Messi, Mbappe, and Ramos.
The Challenges… Maybe being nervous, I was also not accustomed to some in-game settings but I got the experience from it.
Recently, you represented Kenya in the Gamrx competitions in Nigeria and secured the second position. What strategies did you employ to achieve such a commendable result?
Training, training, training, I trained so hard and improved my skill level. I also made sure I was on form before travelling just being ready mentality
Can you describe the experience of competing in the competitions in Nigeria?
The experience was great, especially playing with the FIFA top gamers from Nigeria. There is always a lot of pressure playing with a home team but you must overcome it.
As an esports athlete, what does it mean to you to represent your country on the international stage? How does it feel to be a role model for aspiring gamers in Kenya?
It’s always an honour. Growing up it never crossed my mind that I would one day represent my country on the international stage. It’s a lot of pressure when people look up to you, but whatever you put your mind to you can achieve it.
How do you stay at the top of your game, and what kind of training and preparation do you undergo to maintain your skills?
It’s super competitive here, so for you to stay at the top you need to play the game constantly. My training program involves playing friendlies with my teammates from the Masters of Mayhem esports team. I also play online against players from all over Africa especially players from the south and central parts of Africa.
Could you describe your typical practice routine? How do you balance your gaming commitments with other aspects of your life, such as school?
I usually play on weekends and after school in the evening on weekdays.
How do you interact with your fans, and how important is their support to you as a player?
The support is always amazing, as it always motivates me. The interaction with my fans mostly takes place online on social media. That means chatting on the DMs or the comment sections.
What advice would you give aspiring esports players who want to compete at a high level in FIFA or other competitive games?
Esports is growing very fast. There are more opportunities will come for gamers. Your hard work and dedication will always give you an edge to grasp these opportunities.
Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations in esports? Are there any specific tournaments or achievements you’re aiming for?
I would like to compete in the FIFA Global Series (FGS) and also qualify for the eWorld Cup.
What support or resources do you have as a professional FIFA player in Kenya?
Right now not a lot. I would say maybe the “connections” and the network you get from the exposure of meeting great people who are successful in life or someone with whom you share the same goals.
Esports is gaining more recognition and support globally. In your opinion, what needs to be done to promote and develop the esports scene in Kenya?
The government should provide more opportunities and funding to the esports community. It helps reduce the rate of unemployment for young adults. There are a lot of job opportunities brought by esports Pro gamers, tournament organisers, Referees, Managers, and Agents just to mention a few.
Lastly, outside of gaming, what are your hobbies or interests? How do you unwind and relax when you’re not competing or practising?
I listen to music, go to the gym and play football.
Check out the magazine here