Pedram Malakian has recently been recognized as one of the top ESports Fifa players in the world after being invited to the regional finals for Fifa 17. Malakian competed this past weekend in an EA Sports Fifa regional final in Vancouver, Canada, which brought just over a dozen of the best players in North and South America to compete for a title of best player, and to move on to further competitions. Malakian finished the tournament in the group stages and had a final record of 2 wins and 1 loss. Unfortunately, he was unable to move on, as he lost a tiebreaker to advance to the next round. Major: Economics Groups: Men’s Soccer, The Garnet Group. Wall Street Program
Q: When did you see that competing in a tournament like this could be a reality?
A: This year was the first year that I had really focused on a competitive scene in the game. I’ve been playing Fifa since Fifa 2003 and didn’t get into this particular mode until 2013. The competitive scene has been around, but I didn’t get too involved in it until late last year.
Q: What was your goal for the tournament?
A: My initial goal was to get out of the group stage because of a cash prize that came along with it. In the end however, I was satisfied that I was able to get 2 wins against the highest level of competition. Every player I played against were amongst the best in the world, and clinching a win against the fourth best player in the Americas itself was an achievement in and of itself.
Q: What was your favorite thing about the tournament or your visit in Vancouver?
A: There was a large media exposure for the players. They took great attention to covering the players very professionally and flawlessly. Considering this is the second time they’ve done the event, it made all that more impressive with how it was organized. The majority of the things ran smoothly and the way that EA Sports was able to do this made the games from the start to the final that much more entertaining and great to be a part of, from the atmosphere to the competition.
Q: What challenges did you face trying to get involved in the tournament?
A: It was very difficult to play the amount of games that are needed to play over the course of three weekends, combined with the amount of schoolwork at Union needed in order to be successful. Other smaller aspects include trying to do something at a high level online with the quality of Resnet, and obviously the level of competition.
Q: Do you see yourself continuing anything in an Esports capacity?
A: There are real life soccer clubs signing players to Esports teams to have players compete. There is a lot of money in the business and the environment is expanding. There are players signed from here in New York, to Portland, and even in Europe, so I would certainly be open to a future in this capacity if it was headed there.
Q: If you could offer any advice to first-year students looking to get involved in something they’re passionate about what would it be?
A: Most importantly, you have to work hard, put the time in, persevere, and make sacrifices if you are truly passionate about what you want to do.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Union?
A: I think the opportunity to get involved in activities is great here. For me this ranges from being on the soccer team to the Wall Street Program. Regardless, I think the opportunities are available for everybody to take advantage of if they work for them.
Q: Where is your favorite place to eat off-campus?
A: The Persian Bite. I’m looking to take someone special there when I get the opportunity!