Sunday 24 February 2019, 10:00

Fifilza: Brazil's high-flying debutant wolf

  • Fifilza talks about his first season of eSports tournaments

  • Brazilian reflects on the joys of having his life built around futebol

  • Ranks FIFA eClub World Cup as career highlight so far

Flavio Brito has had to wait patiently for his chance to shine on the global stage, but now he’s here he isn’t messing about.

Brazilian FIFA eSports fans will be all too familiar with ‘Fifilza’, with the Sao Paulo starlet having started making a name for himself ever since he was 16, though it is only this season that he’s been able to do so in person.

“I’ve been a professional player since 2017,” he explained to, “but I didn’t appear at any tournaments because of my age. Now it’s my first year competing at them. Everybody in Brazil loves futbol, so for me this is huge. Scoring goals, celebrating them, just makes me happy.”

As a member of the Wolverhampton Wanderers eSports team and, with the Premier League littered with Brazilian talent, the 18-year-old had the honour of being the first from South America’s biggest nation to represent an ePremier League side.

While still based in Brazil’s biggest city, he’s been wearing the black and gold shirt with pride, fighting valiantly at the recent FIFA eClub World Cup alongside compatriot 'Ebinhob' – part of a fledgling season that keeps getting better.  “The best moment for me was qualifying for the quarter-finals [in London],” he said of his debut on the circuit. “It’s very important for me, for my country, for my team so I’m so happy [I reached] the top eight.”

Currently sat as Brazil’s best FIFA player on the PlayStation 4, he finds himself just inside the top ten with serious aspirations at flying the flag for club and country at the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final later in the year.

While his scaling of the FIFA 19 Global Series Ranking has been impressed, he’s more than familiar with seeing his name among the leading names in the game. “On FIFA 17 I was the first Brazilian to reach the top 100,” he explained.

“As I was winning a lot of games in weekend league, I called up some pro players to play games and I beat them. So I thought maybe I can continue playing, maybe this is something for the future, and it really is!”

It was a path that started in a fashion similar to so many of his tournament peers: First with a gift, then with the discovery of a natural talent. “My father bought me FIFA 15 and a PS4, and I was playing just for fun, but after this I started beating everybody and I got the name ‘Fifilza’.”

And while beating the pros from his console at home was becoming commonplace, Flavio was always studying his opponents as a committed fan of the game, too. “All the tournaments during FIFA 17 and FIFA 18, I was watching. I saw ‘nicolas99FC’ playing nice in FIFA 18, ‘Tass’ winning tournaments in FIFA 17, so I was always watching. My favourite player is Nicolas. He’s a friend, so I really like how he plays – he’s kind of my mirror.”

As the top ranked South Americans on the PlayStation, could we have a titanic Brazil versus Argentina clash awaiting us later in the year? If that’s not a mouth-watering eWorld Cup Grand Final prospect, what is?

Flavio de Almeida Brito of Team Wolverhampton Wanderers reacts during the FIFA eClub World Cup 2019