The FIFA esports scene is one of the most competitive out there. While the same big names always seem to be present, when a new game launches you can be sure that a new wave of talent will enter into the scene and become real contenders. It’s a difficult game to stay relevant in, with even former world champions dropping out of competitive play just a few short years after a big win.
But one player that has bucked this trend to remain at the top of his game is Musaed 'Msdossary' Al Dossary. He burst onto the scene in 2018 and has been at the very top ever since.
He won the eWorldCup in 2018, then placed second in 2019 and while the pandemic has disrupted the scene, he’s kept up this momentum with a number of tournament wins. As the scene starts to return to normal he shows no sign of slowing down and will surely add more than a few trophies to his cabinet in the coming months.
But like any good esports pro, his video game history is not just that of a FIFA player. Throughout his life he's had many video game loves and Frankie Ward, host of the Save Your Game podcast, got the chance to discover just what they are in the latest episode.
First, let’s start with the obvious choice. Msdossary’s FIFA journey began back with FIFA 08, when he brought a copy home and told his brothers that it was a great football game. This kicked off a love affair with the series that eventually led to him becoming a world champion during his first year as a pro player and competing at the highest level ever since. But back then the thought of FIFA being the best football game available, let alone one that could give people careers, seemed pretty crazy.
“Pro Evolution Soccer was more famous than FIFA at that time,” Msdossary recalls. “I didn't think at any time, FIFA would be a game that would give many players a full-time job.”
But that’s exactly what's happened and Msdossary's been a beneficiary of FIFA’s massive growth over the years, netting over half a million dollars in prize money over the course of his career.
During the podcast he opens up about his first few events and reveals that he almost didn’t attend his first major competition, the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Rest of the World Championship 2017, which was held in Vancouver, Canada.
Half of me didn't want to go there to enter the pro life and go all over the world just to play FIFA...
“Half of me didn't want to go there to enter the pro life and go all over the world just to play FIFA, although there was a good prize pool,” says Msdossary. “But I knew that if I went there, there's no way back to my [old] life – I'll be known as a pro player.”
He reveals that if either of his parents had questioned his decision to go to the event, then he would have happily stayed home, but their belief in him meant that he made the trip to Canada and it paid off. He won the event and from then on was a professional FIFA player.
Of course, the Save Your Game podcast doesn’t just look at the success big names have had in their main game, it also looks at their entire gaming life and Msdossary is still a big gamer as well as playing FIFA for a living. When he isn’t practising his skills and fancies a bit of downtime with a controller in his hand there are a number of games he'll boot up, but the franchise he always goes back to is Call of Duty.
While he's been a fan of the franchise since Modern Warfare 2, which he picked up because his school friends were playing it, he's recently been enjoying Warzone, the massively successful battle royale version of Call of Duty.
While he tried other similar games and enjoyed them, it's Call of Duty he keeps coming back to, partly because of the Gulag that lets him come back to the battlefield should he fall early in the game, which he says happens a lot. That said, he has managed to win a few Warzone matches in his time.
“We won a couple of times,” Msdossary says, recounting tales from his time in Warzone. “I think there was a time I played with my friends and they died, so I had to play alone. And I clutched against a whole squad, there wasn't four, it was three, but I did a quite good clutch at that time.”
It becomes clear throughout the episode that Msdossary really loves games. Many pro players find it difficult to relax when playing a game due to the high pressure situations they're used to when competing. But Msdossary tells Frankie Ward about a number of titles from his past and present that he has enjoyed, giving both her and listeners a much closer look at one of the best FIFA players of all time.