Adelaide United E-League player and FUTWIZ professional FIFA player Jamie O’Doherty took some time out of his schedule to go One on One with Jack Hudson.
Jack Hudson: So when did you start playing video games?
Jamie O’Doherty: I don’t really know an age, it was when I was younger playing for fun against my older brother and my younger brother.
Whether it was FIFA or PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) back in the day, it was always competitive between us.
No matter what it was, we always wanted to beat each other, even all the way back then.
JH: What was the first FIFA game you played?
JO’D: Probably FIFA 06, back then.
JH: When did you first think that being a professional FIFA player could be a possibility?
JO’D: When I was 17, that was when FIFA 17 was out, I was playing it for fun and doing my schooling in year 11 and year 12.
My mate suggested I enter some competitions online, because there’s big money up for grabs and free trips.
I entered a couple of them and ended up qualifying for two of the events – I was in the top 16 Xbox players in the rest of the world categories, which includes Africa, Oceania and the Middle East.
That meant I qualified for an all-expenses paid trip to Sydney and to Canada.
I ended up taking a guardian for free, because I was underage, so I took my dad to Sydney – he drew the short straw – and I took mum to Whistler, Canada, and she loved it.
It was a big eye opener not just for me, but for my parents – obviously, with my older brother (Jordan) playing professional football – for them to see the world of professional gaming first-hand with me competing and they absolutely loved it.
That’s when it became a reality.
JH: What is the world of professional gaming like?
JO’D: For me at the moment, I’m employed full-time representing team FUTWIZ, which is an e-sports organization; obviously, that brings in a monthly income for me.
However, on the side I also stream online playing FIFA which people can subscribe and tip money towards my stream.
At the moment with those things and the E-League as well, and travelling internationally, it’s pretty hectic on the weekends.
JH: So, how does someone who is starting out build an audience?
JO’D: I guess getting your name out there on social media, creating a Twitter account, Instagram and things like that.
I think I was a bit lucky being in the FIFA community for a while, even when I was 15, 16, I was making YouTube videos and making graphics for other people.
You get in the loop and get to know the right people who help you out in the end to grow your brand.
JH: How did you get involved with FUTWIZ?
JO’D: Back in FIFA 17, I competed in my second event in Canada and ended up finishing fifth on the Xbox – that was again out of the Rest of the World competitors.
FUTWIZ being based in the UK actually had an Australian competitor at the time ranking high on the leaderboards, and they were impressed with my finish at the tournament.
They contacted me from there and asked if I was interested in being a part of the academy at the time.
Obviously, no paid contract, but I knew that was something that would really help me grow my brand, signing on with them – they’re a massive organisation and a team worldwide.
It’s just taken off from there.