Boasting a 100% winning record after seven matches, Dylan Banks (aussiefifahd) is shaping up as a hot favourite in the PS4 Seniors competition in the Football Queensland (FQ) E-Series.
That shouldn’t come as a shock though, considering Dylan is one of two current Brisbane Roar E-League players competing in FQ’s statewide competition, along with over 700 other Queenslanders including Roar E-League representative Ryan Naylor.
Currently living in Townsville, the former West Wanderers footballer won six matches from six to top Regional Pool C in the First Group Stage of the PS4 Seniors competition.
We caught up with Dylan to get his take on the FQ E-Series, his experiences with the Brisbane Roar, and his tips for the average FIFA player.
On the standard of the FQ E-Series competition
Dylan Banks: I think it’s great. There are some really talented players in the Queensland scene. There’s this whole perception that eSports is only meant for the southern areas, in Sydney and Melbourne, but from the competition and playing against people in the Queensland region it shows that’s not always the case. There are some good FIFA players in this area. I think the competition has been good and shows people here can play FIFA.
The scale of the FQ E-Series compared to other competitions
DB: This is one of the biggest I’ve competed in in terms of competitions that are organised. When you play FIFA, they’ve got the FUT Champions Weekend League and if you make the top 100 that’s top 100 out of about 1.5 million people that have played that week. It’s a worldwide thing. There are millions playing online. But in terms of a competition that’s been organised locally, I haven’t seen that [level of E-Series participation]. It’s been quite impressive to see how many people play FIFA in this area.
Making it all the way to the end of the FQ E-Series
DB: It’ll be tough. I know my Brisbane Roar partner Ryan Naylor is playing in the comp and there are other really good players as well, so it will be tough. I’ve just been playing to have fun I guess, to enjoy it and communicate with people. The good thing is that I get to play with people in the North Queensland area. I didn’t realise there were that many FIFA players in this area but it appears there are quite a few. There are about four regional pools in the northern area – that’s pretty impressive. The football culture is still pretty big up here. There’s this perception that the northern area is a rugby league area but there’s a lot of people that support football as well. That’s good to see.
Getting started in FIFA
DB: I always jumped on and had a game against mates or family who played it but I never really played it competitively or at least consistently until FIFA 15. Then the FUT Champions game mode – the competitive game mode – came out with FIFA 17 and that’s when I tried to play in my spare time and get good. They had the big EA Sports tournaments come out where they were playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars. I wanted to be part of that and be part of the competitive scene. Then got into the E-League and representing Brisbane Roar, the club I grew up supporting as a young kid. It was really a dream come true. I love representing Brisbane Roar.
Representing Brisbane Roar in the E-League
DB: FIFA 18 is when the E-League started. I applied for the first year but unfortunately didn’t make it. That was disappointing for me. But I really worked hard in that time between FIFA 18 and FIFA 19 and thought ‘I really want to push for this position’. As they were going for the 2019 applications, I think I was second in Australia that month. Brisbane Roar contacted me and wanted to have an interview. So I went to Brisbane, ended up signing a contract and I represented them in the E-League in 2019 and 2020 as well. It’s been a journey but it’s been one I’ve really enjoyed.
Future goals and aspirations
DB: There are definitely a couple of goals I do want to fulfil. For sure that’s winning the E-League for Brisbane Roar. Last year we came second, Andy [Phanouvong] and I. To take them from eighth to second, we were really happy with that. This year, with my new partner Ryan – an absolute freak at the game – we ended up getting second again. We were fifth at the end of day one, then come back on day two and I won all of my games. Ryan won all of his except one, I believe. We ended up pushing into second behind Sydney FC and nearly claiming first. There was a bit of disappointment in my mind, but maybe it will be third season lucky to take the trophy home as Queenslanders.
On competing against his Brisbane Roar E-League partner
DB: Ryan is a freak, so it’s not a match I would be looking forward to if it does occur! But he’s been great this season. As I said, he’s an absolute freak at the game and it’s a pleasure to have him as my partner with Brisbane Roar. It’s a match I would have a lot of fun with but I wouldn’t be looking forward to, that’s for sure.
Tips for the average FIFA player
DB: I think you’ve got just got to practise, number one. But number two: certainly try to work on your mentality. That’s the biggest thing. If you lose your head in FIFA it’s a given that you play badly. I’ve experienced it in my own gameplay and seen it in others as well. Once you lose your head it’s game over unfortunately. That’s what I’ve tried to work on this season, maintaining my mentality and keeping cool through games. I know back in the day I used to get very angry if I lost, so that was something I had to work on.
Who are the must-have players?
DB: I’ve really loved Messi this year. His dribbling is fantastic and you can really use that left stick dribbling to your advantage. I know they improved that this year. He’s definitely been one of the players I’ve used throughout the year. The other one is Son [Heung-min]. Not many people have used Son this year but I’ve personally used him from the start to now. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m used to him, I know the touches he takes and how he dribbles and shoots. He scores a lot of goals for me. I would consider using him in the E-League if we get to the Finals post the pandemic. It just depends on who you get used to, that’s the most important thing.
Images: Brisbane Roar FC