George ‘GCChelsea’ Cleaver is one of the best FIFA players of the world. Take a look to his interview now that eSports and FIFA 17 Champions Series are becoming more and more popular.
George ‘GCChelsea’ Cleaver Interview
“I was shocked.” That was George “gcchelsea” Cleaver’s reaction after qualifying in second place for the Rest of World Regional Finals of the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship Series.
The Warwick, England born player explained that he never imagined being able to qualify, much less rank as the second-best player in the region. “At the start of this year, I didn’t think I would make any of the finals, to be honest,” he admitted. “I said, ‘Yeah I will just play. I am decent.‘”
Decent may be an understatement. gcchelsea racked up 140 wins and 20 losses during the November Weekend League – not bad for a player who, despite having enjoyed FIFA casually for over ten years, only became a serious competitor behind the controller over the last two.
gcchelsea grew up in England prior to moving to Australia at the age of 8. As a result, he has followed, played, and breathed football from a very young age. It was his love for the beautiful game that pushed gcchelsea to lace up his boots up to five times per week, until a devastating knee injury sent the defensive midfielder to the operating room for knee reconstruction surgery 5 years ago. “I was out for nine months,” he remembers.
While patiently recuperating, he couldn’t wait to get back to action. “Then on the first day back on the pitch, I injured it again.” This took him back to the hospital for a second trip under the knife, and another lengthy period on the sidelines. Finally, fully recovered, gcchelsea resumed his playing days for a few years without a problem, before a third reconstructive knee surgery was required in 2016.
Though the result of injury, gcchelsea credits these recuperation periods as key moments in his FIFA competitive career. During them, he had ample time to hone his skills behind the controller. “I had tons of time to play. That is probably when I made major improvements in my game. It is like anything else. You put in the work, and you get rewarded.”
Shortly after that last injury, he realized that his FIFA abilities were too much for his friends. It was time to look for a newer and bigger challenge. “Playing competitively had been in the back of my mind, but FUT Champions was the spark, really. It really gives you the incentive to play.”
gcchelsea found immediate success in the FUT Champions Weekend League last October, with that performance fueling his confidence enough for him to try to qualify for Sydney. “Before the qualification month, I just thought, ‘Let’s see how I do.’ I had no idea, but then I was very happy finishing second in the first month. Then I realized that the second month was qualification for the Regional Final, so I thought ‘I am pretty good, [I should] show-up,’ and then I finished second again, and I was in.”
Making his live competitive debut at home brings mixed feelings for gcchelsea. “I can’t wait. I am nervous and excited. It is a great opportunity.” He plans to soak in every moment. “When it comes to the games, all you can do is to take it one by one.” Because of that excellent performance during the qualification campaign, some see gcchelsea as a potential dark horse in Sydney, a player who could continue surprising and become a favourite to lift the trophy. gcchelsea is quick to dismiss such notions. “I wouldn’t want to see myself as a favourite. It puts more pressure on you. The favourites don’t always come up on top. I have no expectations about my performance.”
When looking back at his meteoric ascension in the FIFA competitive circuit, he has a word of advice to other players who want to try playing competitively. “Give it a shot. You can only try your best, and you may make it. But you won’t know until you try. You just have to go for it.”
gcchelsea went for it and is now at the gates of an opportunity that could change his life – opportunity that could see him pursue a career as a FIFA professional player. “It would be a dream job. It is what I enjoy the most, so if I can make this more serious, it would be perfect.”