With eSport on the rise all over the world, it was only a matter of time until Malta followed suit and the inaugural season of the BOV ePremier League took shape. With representatives from all 14 teams in the division, the league kicked off in January with prize money of up to 1000 euros. Eventually it was Malta’s top seed Christian Spiteri, playing for St Lucia, who took the honours last month.
Spiteri won the league unbeaten, achieving 23 wins and three draws, 14 points ahead of his nearest competitor Shaun Galea of Ħamrun Spartans with 72 points.
Despite the impressive margin, Spiteri told the Times of Malta that there were matches where he easily could have lost but luck was on his side.
“The level was good (in the league) and a number of players are even doing well against high level foreign opposition, so I guess we’re on the right track and the level is rising,” Spiteri explained.
“I’ve seen certain players improve and develop during the season and that’s great.”
Spiteri, a professional gamer ranked 38 in the world (PlayStation) according to classification last month, was happy with how the league panned out in terms of organization.
“Honestly, I was surprised. Not that I didn’t have faith in the organisers, but in my opinion they managed to replicate tournament setups which usually you get to experience only abroad,” Spiteri remarked.
He praised the fact that the exposure from this year’s league led to a better credibility in the gaming community.
“I think it depends on the individual to see if (tournaments like this) have any effect or not, but I think when someone sees that there’s exposure in what they are doing, they will make more time for it and try to get positive results. We all want coverage of our positive results,” he explained.
“Particularly in Malta, I think my name has grown as a result of this league.”
Even though the ePremier League is not exactly physical by nature, the start of the covid-19 pandemic also had its toll on the league’s players. Asked about the effect it had on them, Spiteri admitted it added to the excitement of it all.
“We were all excited for the final day of play because we had been waiting since the beginning of March,” he said.
“Because the league forms part of the official EA Sports season, who suspended their leagues, every tournament was suspended as well. We managed to play other tournaments, like (eNations) Fifa Stay and Play, only because they were not part of EA’s official season.”
Now that the season is over, Spiteri has set his sights back to the international sphere. Having signed with eSports team Serious About Fifa back in May, he has his fair share of experience after also taking part in the FIFA eClub World Cup of 2019 and making it to the last 16.
“My goal is ambitious and quite hard – I want to try and win an international tournament,” he emphasized.
“The one I want the most is the Champions League but every international honour has its own prestige.”