Subaru Sagano took home $1200 in prize money Image: Facebook
Japan's Subaru Sagano aka Mikey went into the Asian Football Gaming Championship 2018 in Singapore as one of the firm favourites and lived up to the billing with some stunning displays en route to the AFGC title and the $1200 prize money. The tournament, where 24 players from 11 countries participated, concluded in Singapore on July 15.
But the road to the victory for the 29-year-old pro-FIFA gamer was far from easy. The final against Singapore's Syamil Sabirin was a close affair, with Sagano just edging it with an 84th-minute stunner from Ronaldo. Sagano was playing with Portugal. With the vociferous home crowd egging on his opponent, he showed immense composure and class to soak up all the pressure and hold onto his lead and the title.
Sagano's immense experience with big tournaments, including FIFA Interactive World Cup grand finals in 2015 and 2017, saw him best some fierce challengers from all over Asia. T2 Online caught up with the new AFGC champion to chat about his triumph and gaming career.
How does it feel winning the Asian Football Gaming Championship?
It feels great. It was a great event and had some close games with the best players in Asia. It was not easy at all, especially the final. It was incredible seeing over 6000 viewers following my games live on Twitch. I came here to win and I am happy to have achieved my goal.
When did you start gaming and which was your first game?
I think I first played Mario when I was three years old. I just loved that game when I was a kid.
When did you start taking FIFA seriously?
From FIFA 12. I fell in love with the game and started spending more time on it.
Subaru Sagano during the finals
When did you decide to take up FIFA professionally?
Back in 2015, I qualified for the FIFA Interactive World Cup and got my first sponsor. From then on, I decided to become a professional player. But since 2017, Blue United Corporation started supporting me. I think I have been able to become a better professional since then because I can focus on the game and they take care of everything else.
Which other competitions are you looking forward to this year?
Unfortunately, this year I could not qualify for the FIFA eWorld Cup but I am going to give it my all to qualify next year and I am also looking forward to playing in Electronic Sports World Convention (ESWC) in Paris this year.