Tuesday 19 February 2019, 09:50

F2Tekkz flying high after year to remember

  • We talk to FIFA eSports star 'F2Tekkz'

  • Teenager currently streets ahead in Xbox rankings

  • Has won four titles despite just a year as a pro

“I haven’t had a free weekend since October. Just tournament after tournament after tournament.”

The last 12 months have been something of a whirlwind for Donovan Hunt, better known to the eSports world as ‘F2Tekkz’. At just 17 years old he’s on top of the world and, before his busy schedule can be taken as a gripe, he smiled and quickly clarified: “I like it, so no complaints.”

Were anyone to look over his first year on the circuit, which started with an almighty – and victorious – bang at the FUT Champions Cup in Barcelona in January 2018, few would have many complaints either. Well, unless you’re ‘Tekkz’ himself.

“Individually in the last few tournaments I haven’t played very well – I’ve got to the semi-finals but I haven’t won,” were his reflections on the season so far, following his triumph at the FIFA eClub World Cup with KiNG eSports and fellow No1 in the world ‘nicolas99FC’.

But for any onlookers hearing that, they could be forgiven for doing a double take, because by all accounts his season has been staggering.

F2Tekkz’s FIFA 19 season so far

  • Only player to reach at least the semi-final of every tournament he’s entered

  • Has almost three times the ranking points of second place – reigning eWorld Cup holder MsDossary

  • Won November’s FUT Champions Cup

  • Won the PGL FIFA Cup

  • Won the FIFA eClub World Cup

It’s hard to describe it as anything but near-domination of the season. But before the teenager can let you begin casting an image of him as an unlucky talent who is too used to missing out, he’ll hit you with the other side of his personality.

“I’ve always known I was world class, now other people know [laughs].”

Confidence and high-standards

And that is what is making him the one to beat on the Xbox this year, his blend of hyper-critical-meets-hyper-confident. High standards of performance sit comfortably next to high self-belief.

His persona on social media is laden with the latter, resulting in plenty of onlookers hoping to see him fall. But the bravado for an audience of almost half a million followers across social media is all part of it.

“I just like building my reputation when I win,” the Englishman said, “so when everyone talks about me when I do, that’s my favourite part [of eSports].”

Ultimately, he is a guy who sounds like he’s having fun with his new-found place in the spotlight, and why not, seeing how quickly his life has been transformed. “I started just playing FUT Champs online and I beat a few good players, so I looked into [competitive] more,” the Liverpool fan explained.

“I found some little tournaments and I started to play them. I won my first one and from then I just got more into it. Originally, I was just going to college every day, then it came to my first tournament and I won it. From then it’s just been a bit different [laugh].”

Too right. From seeing his skill-laden, “instinct”-driven style lead to him pairing up with YouTube superstars the F2 Freestylers, to meeting his Anfield idol Steven Gerrard, to playing the likes of Raheem Sterling at FIFA, to sharing a pitch with FIFA World Cup™ winner Kaka, it’s been a hell of a year.

And looking back on it, where it all started still stands out. “My first tournament, winning it in Barcelona, that was the main highlight,” he reflected, “but then going back-to-back in Bucharest – that was another. Just winning championships.”

Well, with a FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final playoff place well and truly in the bag, the big season finale is likely the one thing on the horizon that’s going to eclipse that Mediterranean weekend. But it’s safe to say there are many, many opportunities on the road ahead.