Football Features

Statue for Nick Pope? The best skill, most influential players & painful mistake from the 2020/21 ePremier League

By Squawka News

Published: 16:52, 31 March 2021 | Updated: 21:09, 4 July 2023

After a week of intense action, Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette claimed the 2020/21 ePremier League title.

Shellzz, representing Manchester City, came top of the 40-strong pile of the UK’s best FIFA players from both Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles, beating Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin of Leeds United in the Grand Final. He is the third different ePL champion since its inception in 2018/19.

Josh Buchanan takes a look back at the best of the week’s action here, as well as letting us know what we have to look forward to for the rest of this year in the world of eSports.

Josh Buchanan – who you can find on Twitch here – is a FIFA Ultimate Team Verified Player on Xbox who has twice achieved a top 200 finish on FIFA 21 Weekend League, regularly hitting Elite by recording 23 wins or more.

What was the most commonly used skill played at the ePL finals and how do you do it?

The most commonly used skill has to be the ‘directional nutmeg’, or ‘small bridge’ for short. The directional nutmeg is the new ‘meta’ (most effective tactics available) skill, and when timed right becomes a speed boost past the defender. This is done by pressing LB/L1 & RB/R1 and flicking the left stick towards your opponent. If this skill isn’t performed at the right angle and time, it does a less effective animation of the skill, which normally is ineffective.

In the second half of the first leg in the grand finale, Shellz made it 4-1 by using the directional nutmeg on the edge of the box with Marcus Rashford. He turned and timed the skill to perfection to pass the defender, creating the speed boost and then finishing into the bottom-left corner.

What was the most dramatic win on the tournament?

It has to be Shellz beating Ollielito in the final in a penalty shooting after finishing 6-6. The game had it all and was definitely one of the better FIFA eSports finals.

The most painful mistake?

Virgil van Dijk scored an own goal for Marc Marleyyy against Hashtag Tom to make it 3-0 in the early rounds of the tournament.

Nick Pope was called ‘man of the tournament’ for Shellzz, who said he’ll have to “build him a statue” outside his club. Did any other virtual players out for you?

Future star: Reece James (87 rated) is a right-back card but everyone in the competitive scene uses him as a CB. Since he is English in the Premier League, it also creates a strong link for chemistry with Pope.

What’s the next major event on the calendar for eSports players?

The next FIFA major in the eSport calendar is the FUT CHAMPIONS CUP 5 (FCC5), which I will personally be involved in. This is the final tournament for many European competitive players to gain global series ranking points. It will be played across the 10th and 11th of April, with the top 1,024 players on each console competing for the cash pool prize of $250,000 on Xbox and $300,000 on PlayStation.

Following this, the regional playoffs will take place between June and July. This is the pinnacle of the FIFA 21 season, with the top 64 players on each console from the FIFA global series (FGS) leaderboard going into one of the final tournaments of the year. One player will be crowned European champion.

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