The third blog post in my “To Gfinity and Beyond” series will feature my interview with Richard Buckley, a world class FIFA caster who commentates on events such as the Elite Series, hosted by Gfinity. Richard has also worked to enhance the viewer experience by providing world class commentaries of FIFA matches with other companies including Sky Sports, EA Sports and ESL. Due to Richard’s extensive experience in commentating on multiple different events, I thought he’d have a unique insight into the Elite Series and would offer an interesting opinion on the question – “Why is Gfinity’s Elite Series an integral part of the UK esports scene?” The following post will cover Richard’s thoughts on the matter and I hope to offer, you, the audience an exclusive look into what one of the biggest names in FIFA esports thinks about the Elite Series.
One thing that is crucial for commentators is for them to build up an image and gain as much exposure as possible, so the first question I wanted Richard to answer was, “Do you believe the Elite Series provides valuable exposure for you and your personal brand?” To this Richard replied, “Gfinity is one of the biggest esports organisers in the world, if not the biggest, and being a part of Season 3 of the Elite Series has been a blast and may I hope it continue for some time now as myself and Brandon [Richard’s commentating partner-in- crime] have both loved being a part of the FIFA team.”
“Gfinity is the bridge for very good amateurs to transition into professionals”
Another question I was keen to ask Richard was, “Do circuited tournaments such as the Elite Series that go on every week for a set period of time provide stability and security as opposed to random FIFA events that pop up all over the place?”. Richard responded, “Personally for me I think that the Elite Series format is very beneficial as it enables players to analyse their games throughout the week.” and went on to explain how this then allows them to, “work on areas of their games to improve ready for a date in the calendar every 8 weeks”.
As part of last week’s blog, I asked James Townley, esports photographer, “As the scene is maturing and becoming more professional with higher production value and better treatment of players, do you see that same level of professionalism and care put to those such as yourself?”. I wanted to see how Richard’s response to the same question might compare. Richard pointed out that, “Myself and Brandon are still new to the esports scene, we’ve only been around in the public eye for around 12 months” but then expressed how he has “always received top class” treatment from event organisers.
To try and summarise Richard’s thoughts on the Elite Series and Gfinity I asked him: “Why to you, if at all, is Gfinity’s Elite Series an integral part of the UK esports scene?” Richard then went on to give me a detailed answer and described how, “Gfinity is the bridge for very good amateurs to transition into pros in my opinion. It gives the players a platform to prove themselves in cups ran daily and also the opportunity to test themselves against other professionals in the scene”. Richard followed on by explaining how the Elite Series is also an instrumental part of trying to increase opportunities for and raise awareness of FIFA esports by stating how, “having Gfinity as part of a licensed EA qualifier is only a help and will continue to help to grow FIFA in one way and thats vertically upwards”.
Many thanks to Richard for agreeing to be interviewed as part of my “To Gfinity and Beyond” blog series. More about Richard and his work can be found at: www.twitter.com/rbuckley1998