07 Apr 2021 9:55 AM +00:00

"It gives you an extra chance even if they go the right way"

Penalties are the bane of many a FIFA player.

They are a lottery - but we've recruited the help of ePremier League Champion Shaun "Shellzz" Springette on scoring from the spot.

The Man City esports star defeated Olle "Ollelito" Arbin in the final on penalties, and needed spot-kicks in the last 16 so he knows what is needed from 12 yards.

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"It's a guessing game"

As much as Shellzz is cold from the penalty spot, he isn't quite sure why he is so successful.

"I don't think my penalty skills are a strength, to be honest!

"I do win the majority of my penalty shootouts in qualifiers and online tournaments, and I am quite good at saving them."

"If I score, it's mostly luck - but the main aspect this year is about timing your penalties.

"It gives you that extra chance to score even if the goalkeeper dives the right way."

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT - If you leave the target on, the reticle will turn green fi you time the penalty correctly

You can perform a timed penalty by pressing shoot again just as the taker strikes the ball (shown by the indicator going green), but this is incredibly difficult when playing online due to any possible connection lag.

"It’s penalties, it’s a guessing game – you’ve just got to hope it goes your way!”

"You'll see me do tricks if I'm feeling confident"


So if penalties are down to luck or natural instincts, where does make Shellzz a champion?

“I’d like to say my strength is defending and being a bit skilful on the ball.

"My defence felt solid during the ePremier League, which made me feel a lot more comfortable, knowing that I’m not going to be conceding five goals."

It's not all about defence though, as that just gives Shellzz the base, and confidence to hurt the opposition at the other end.

"I like to have that defence as a safety net, and if I’m feeling confident I like to be a bit more skilful.

"You might see me doing tricks if I feel confident on the ball, allowing me to create more opportunities and score more goals."

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TOP OF THE POPS - Shellzz follows Hashtag Tom and Tekkz as ePL Champion

So that's where Shellzz's qualities lie, but what gave him the edge in the ePL and saw him walk away with the largest share of the £20,000 prize money?


Tom "Hashtag Tom" Leese has been the best player in the world for the last few years and is a good friend of mine, so it’s hard to say what I’ve got over him!

"Marc "MarcMarleyyy" Marley is the number one ranked Xbox player in the UK– but at this level, anyone can beat anyone – you’ve just got to perform under pressure and I believe if I perform at the best of my ability I can beat anyone.

“I always believed I could go all the way."

"City deserved something big"

The ePremier League is the first piece of silverware secured for Manchester City this season, with one hand already firmly on the Premier League title.

"It’s nice to bring a trophy home to City, and it’s looking like we’re going to win the Premier League.

"For me, it was important to win a trophy for City, whether it was the ePremier League or one of the FUT Champions Cups, they definitely deserved something big.

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ALL STARS - Shellzz has linked up with City's first team stars for club projects

Shellzz was one of the first big names in esports to sign with a football club a few years ago, but he was concerned about how it would unfold.


“I’m not going to lie, I was a bit scared joining a football club.

"Football clubs had a bad rep in the esports scene at the time, not caring about the players, but since I’ve joined City they’ve shown me so much support.

"They’ve done more than I could ever ask for, taking me to places around the world that I could never have dreamed of."

As well as the opportunities City provided Shellzz, they've also looked after him to ensure he brings his best for these big tournaments.

"They brought in a mental coach which helps me with the mental side of the game which is so important in FIFA, dealing with confidence, stress, nerves and all of that.

"City want me to succeed and also allowing me to collaborate on videos with the likes Phil Foden, Oleksandr Zinchenko and being a part of the adverts – it’s been a dream and so nice what they’ve done for me."

"It's all about staying positive"

Of course, it's been a tremendously difficult year dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Even though esports can be played entirely online, the players are still feeling the effects of lockdown.


“Every year I have that pressure and stress to win. There have been times I’m not winning and it does put me down a lot mentally.

"It’s all about staying positive – that’s what’s best for your mind."

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SOON COME - The ePremier League is usually held at the Gfinity Arena in London

So how does Shellzz do that exactly? Well, he plays games online with his friends - away from the pressures of competitive FIFA.


"This year’s been really tough with lockdown, you can’t go see your friends, you can’t play football at the weekends so it has been tough.

"It’s all about being healthy, exercise, and even just have fun with your friends.

"That’s one thing I’ve been trying to do – playing a lot of online games, playing Uno online – just trying to chill out and have a good time.

"I'm trying to not put too much stress on winning because I’m quite competitive so when I do lose it does hit me hard.

"This year I’ve been trying to work on it – it’s not a life or death situation, of course, you want to win, but it’s okay if you lose.

"It's what I love about esports"

As vaccines roll out across the globe, the hope of connecting with our friends, in person, grows.

Shellzz is looking forward to the esports scene restarting in its true form, with LAN (Local Area Network) events hopefully not to for away.

“I’m definitely looking forward to catching up with everyone, seeing my friends again – and especially playing at these LAN tournaments.

"For me, that’s what I love about esports when you’re playing at these events in front of people and your friends are there behind you – that’s what it’s all about, just to being in that environment again is something I’m looking forward to."

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DYNAMIC DUO - Shellzz has linked up with City teammate Ryan Pessoa in the past

This has been the third instalment of the ePremier League, but Shellzz would like to see some tweaks to tournament formats across the FIFA esports calendar.

"For the ePremier League I would love to see a proper league instead of a one-off tournament.

"I think that adds a bit more longevity. It would include a lot more people and make it more of a consistency thing.


"The sky is the limit with esports though."

"Hopefully, we can have more team tournaments which is what I love – I think it adds a bit more personality to the scene and brings more support if there’s a team of three or four guys."

It's back to the grind of Weekend League for now for Shellzz, although the victory means he automatically qualifies for the FIFA 21 Global Series Playoffs this summer.

For more details about the FIFA 21 Global Series head here.

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