There aren’t many esports players out there who can say they’ve had as many highs and lows as FIFA pro Kylem ‘Lyricz’ Edwards. He was one of the breakout players from the FIFA 19 Global Series, but as soon as his season began to hit a peak, it was all cut short.
In a short space of time, Lyricz had gone from being an unknown entity in FIFA esports to becoming one of the hottest prospects in the world. An ePremier League representative for Tottenham Hotspur, appearances at three FUT Champions Cups, an eClub World Cup quarter-final and a place in the top 20 of the Global Series rankings, it seemed everything was shaping up for the player to make an appearance at the eWorld Cup Finals and take a shot at the world title.
However, this all came crashing down when Lyricz was handed a season-long ban in April 2019 for illegitimately buying coins on FIFA Ultimate Team, a mistake he has taken complete responsibility for. The ban meant that as the FIFA 19 season drew to a close he was without a club, and considering having to find alternative work on the side of being a FIFA pro. In fact, his actions had left him wondering if he’d even fulfilling his true potential.
Fast forward a few months, and its FIFA organisation FUTWIZ which comes to the rescue. Despite keeping its Australian trio of FIFA pros, FUTWIZ revealed a completely new UK roster to their fans for the FIFA 20 season, including Lyricz himself. In a matter of weeks, Lyricz FIFA career had gone a full 180, and he’s now on the path to achieving big things in this season’s Global Series.
— 𝙁𝙐𝙏𝙒𝙄𝙕 (@FUTWIZ) August 30, 2019
Lyricz has already qualified for the first two majors of the FIFA esports calendar, with the first happening this weekend: the FUT Champions Cup in Bucharest. With confidence brimming and FIFA 20 clearly suiting his playstyle, Lyricz is hungry for success this season.
“I mean I say it all the time,” he tells The Loadout, “but I want to win the FIFA eWorld Cup. Some people might think of that and laugh, but last year if I didn’t get banned I would have been at the FeWC comfortably. I never got a chance to show what I could do… I think this can definitely be my year. I’m trying to win it. Not just be there. Win it.”
It's pretty much the best situation for a British player like myself
Lyricz explains that this hunger and drive to make a name for himself this season in FIFA esports would not have been possible without his organisation. Some may have seen Lyricz’s acquisition by FUTWIZ, alongside fellow new signings Reece ‘Rusher’ Rusher and Tom ‘Painter’ Painter, as a pretty big gamble. However, the decision from FUTWIZ’s head honcho Dan Bellis to show faith in Lyricz has so far paid dividends.
“As soon as the offer came, I was on it,” Lyricz says. “It was a massive relief, and it’s a team like FUTWIZ as well, so after what had happened [the ban] you couldn’t really expect a better situation.
“They’re probably the best FIFA org in the UK. I guess Hashtag United would be in the argument too but FUTWIZ are right up there with them. It’s pretty much the best situation for a British player like myself.”
Lyricz puts his early success in the FIFA 20 season down to not only his talent but the support that being part of FUTWIZ has given him, from providing FIFA Points to build squads, to helping grow Lyricz as not just a FIFA pro but a content creator too.
“Financially, they’ve helped me out a lot. My socials have definitely boosted since I joined, like the amount I’ve grown in the last month or so is ridiculous. And then there’s Dan as well. Dan is probably the perfect manager. He’s so supportive and he’s a friend too. I speak to him pretty much every day – I’ve never really had that before in a manager.”
Massive shoutout to @FUTWIZDan @ruanholder @STARKEsports. After how last year ended things was looking really rough for me didn’t have much money few weeks from having to get a shit job so really do appreciate you guys. Being a pro comes with a lot of baggage but well worth it❤️
— FUTWIZ Lyricz (@Lyricz30) October 27, 2019
One of the big highlights of last season for Lyricz was being able to represent Tottenham Hotspur in the inaugural ePremier League. This year, the tournament returns, but his allegiances have changed. Now an established name in the competitive FIFA scene, Lyricz wants to get the most out of his experiences in esports.
“This year I’m going to go for Crystal Palace,” he reveals. “It felt to me last season that Spurs weren’t too invested in the whole thing really, like no social posts or anything, no communication really at all. I don’t think I got much out of the experience apart from saying that I’d played in the ePremier League.
“I see Palace and they seem really keen on esports and you see the likes of Wilfried Zaha coming to FIFA events… plus, they’ve got a sick tracksuit!”
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Even with bags of confidence, the support of one of FIFA’s biggest teams, and the advantage of a strong start early in the season, the FIFA Global Series is still brimming with talent. Lyricz is sure he can go all the way in FIFA 20 and lift the eWorld Cup, but who does he have down to be his biggest challengers?
“I think it’s hard to judge so early in the season… If you base it off the people I’ve played against so far this year on Xbox, then I’d say that Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt is up there again, Diogo ‘Diogo’ Mendes is up there too, Michael ‘Megabit’ Bittner is really good… they’re probably the top three that I’ve played so far. They’re going to have really good years.”
After navigating the realm of free agency for most of the summer, to now being one of the most in-form FIFA pros in the world at the start of the FIFA 20 Global Series, Lyricz has certainly had a quick turn in fortune.
Will he be able to sustain his early form and confidence throughout the next ten months and fulfil his prediction of being a FIFA world champion? Bucharest should be a good indicator as to just how up for it Lyricz will be.