Posted | June 22nd, 2018

Full-time football player and coach has become FIFA professional

Full-time football player and coach has become FIFA professional

Reece Rusher, 22, born in Winchester, was signed by Kairos Talent Management in 2017 to pursue a career as a Professional FIFA Player. He has gone on to do just that and has been signed to brand-new esports team, No Fuchs Given which is owned by Leicester City’s football player, Christian Fuchs.

Kairos Media took five minutes with Reece to get all the details.

Congratulations on your placement on No Fuchs Given esports academy. What kick-started your gaming journey?

Rusher: Thank you! From a young age, my dad and I would play each other on FIFA for fun and surprisingly to him, the majority of the time I won! It wasn’t until later on when I turned 18, I would deposit money on Virgin Games to play against other players online. I competed against one lad who was sponsored by a team and won. His kind words gave me the inspiration to practice regularly and improve my skillset.

I went onto play FIFA 6 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week. It was intense but playing again and again with my team allowed me to learn each player inside out and that became really helpful when I would compete against others.

Is gaming your full-time profession?

Rusher: No, it’s not. I play football full-time in the Southern League and spent eight years at Southampton academy. Alongside this career and my gaming, I also coach football full-time. Let’s just say, from a very young age I’ve always had a love for all things football!

Reece Rusher

How do you manage your time between work, gaming and pleasure?

Rusher: It helps that I am quite a laid-back individual, hardly ever getting stressed with my busy life. I am passionate and dedicated to both playing football, coaching and playing FIFA so I make sure I utilise my time and make the most of everything I enjoy.

How has your life changed since becoming a professional FIFA player? 

Rusher: I don’t feel it has changed. I still live my normal life, work full-time, socialise with my friends and maintain a relationship. I just have to be organised and schedule time to play FIFA.

What’s been your biggest challenge as a professional FIFA player?

Rusher: My goal for 2018 was to qualify for three events. Unfortunately, I didn’t start off very confident as I didn’t give it as much time and effort as I should have, and that showed as I didn’t qualify. I learnt from these mistakes and made the changes ready for the second competition, but much to my dismay, I lost out by one place. At the start of May, the third chance came around and I was determined to secure my place but despite coming mid-30s, I was still unsuccessful.

It was absolutely gutting to miss out, but I mustn’t be too hard on myself as this is the first year of 100 per cent commitment to professional gaming. I still feel this year has been successful, I’ve learnt a lot and it has only pushed me to work harder.

What’s the most important factor to you when searching for a position on an esports team?  

Rusher: Like most people, I wanted to work with a global brand, however, with my football led background I was keen to work with either a football team or a player.

When the chance to join Leicester City’s Christian Fuchs team, it seemed like the perfect match (excuse the pun!).

How did the opportunity come around to join No Fuchs Given?

Rusher: I signed with Kairos Media to find myself an esports team. By chance, I saw a tweet advertising the opportunity with Fuchs. Both Kairos Media and I prepared my application and sent it across, as well as speaking one-on-one to the manager involved.

I personally believe that my experience and interaction with football alongside my gaming skills put me in a strong position to being chosen.

What are you most excited about being part of a professional esports academy?

Rusher: It’s a massive opportunity for me and an even bigger one being on Fuchs team. I’m really looking forward to meeting the other players, becoming part of a team and attending all the events.

I’m also excited about the extra exposure for myself and my career. I am going to be more active on social media, creating videos and building my following on Twitter and other platforms, so make sure you follow me!

What advice would you give to those starting out as a professional gamer?

Rusher: To every other player out there that is playing in the competitive scene, I didn’t start out with amazing skills, but I’ve always worked hard and tried to look at the positives in every situation. Always be your worst critic and if something doesn’t go your way, watch it back and think about what you can do better next time.

My three tips are to;

  1. Stay patient
  2. Stay relaxed and
  3. Stay composed.

You can follow No Fuchs Given on Twitter @NFG_eSports and follow Reece’s personal twitter @NFG_Rusher. To find out more about our esports strategy and how you can get involved click here.

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