Get to know eLions coach Zac Moore
Zac Moore became coach of England’s official esports team, the eLions, in late-2022 so we sat down with him for a question-and-answer session to learn more about him and his role.
Hi Zac, firstly, congratulations on your appointment. What were your emotions when you found out you had been selected as eLions coach?
“I was really happy to be selected. The players that England have at their disposal, we have a really good chance to win the whole FIFAe Nations Cup. I am someone who is all about winning trophies and I want to win it all with England.”
How long have you been a FIFA coach?
“I played FIFA competitively for around five years from around 2015 to 2019 and then I decided to step into a coaching role.
“Even though I got to high level as a player, I am not as good as the players in this squad and I felt like my interest would be better going towards coaching, especially as it works well with my university degree in sports performance and analysis.
“So the two go together nicely. As a FIFA coach, you do a lot of scouting of opposition teams and it helps me out.
“Deciding to become a coach was a gradual thing really. Even though I had been doing well, I probably lost the belief that I could make it as a top player and it got to the stage where I could have made a living from coaching which wouldn’t have been there as a player.
“So I took the opportunity to coach because you still get those similar emotions I had as a player and I still enjoy it just as much.”
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It might sound like a crazy question but for those who don’t play FIFA competitively, just what does a FIFA coach do?
“I will remind the players about their tendencies in games. When I watch them play a game, like a normal coach would, you are looking for those mistakes. Things like defensive mistakes or if there is a certain skill move in the game, I will show them things like ‘you need to include this in your game next time you are in this scenario’.
“With a coach, because there is only one coach, with England, when we play teams in our Play-In group, I am scouting how the opposition play and what they like to do with things like corners and free-kicks.
“So it is not just helping the players with their games, you are scouting the opposition as well, which again plays into my degree.
“From 2017 to 2020 I went to Cardiff Met University to study sport performance and analysis, where I got involved with the football teams. I would record games for the team and there were six teams there, so there was plenty to do.
“Now I am a full-time coach, I have my job with England around the fixtures but I also have my organisation job with SAF, where there are five players in the team and I will help coach them.”
We hear you Jack, there's an art to beating the 𝙊𝙁𝙁𝙎𝙄𝘿𝙀 𝙏𝙍𝘼𝙋 🚫 pic.twitter.com/0jWw6TQYow— England Gaming (@EnglandGaming) January 31, 2023
How would you describe your coaching style?
“I am not an aggressive coach or the type to shout. I have been on the playing side so I am not someone who is going to damage someone’s confidence but equally if I see the same mistake over and over again, then I might raise my voice and shout.
“But my style is more about trying to improve each player’s performance. When we are practising, it is not really about the results, it is focusing on improvement and giving them the five or ten percent improvements.
“The players can be the best in the world but they still need reminding sometimes what we have to do differently and they don’t have as much time to watch the other teams play.
“So I try to do a bit of everything. Where a normal coach has other departments to cover everything, I am a bit of an all-in-one and I think it helps having been a player to know how they are feeling when they are playing.”
What has been your career highlight so far?
“Everyone’s dream as a player or a coach is to win the World Cup. That is the closest you can get so even though we lost the final, coaching SAF to the 2021-22 FIFAe Club World Cup Finals was definitely my best achievement so far.”
What does it mean to have the chance to coach England in these major campaigns?
“I am excited more than anything because I know I can give them the extra five or ten percent the team needs to get over the line.
“In the last couple of years, you could argue the team has underachieved when you look at the talent pool we have.
“I am viewing it as we win the FIFAe Nations Cup or it has been a failure for me. One of our players (Tekkz) is considered by some as the greatest player of all time, we have other players who have been number one in the UK in the past, so we have the squad to go all the way.”
How do you assess England’s chances going into the FIFAe Nations Cup campaign?
“Winning the FIFAe Nations Cup is obviously difficult because there are so many good teams like Germany, the Netherlands and the reigning champions Brazil but we have the players to do it. Anything less than a win will be deemed a failure.”
Thanks Zac and good luck with the rest of the season.
You can follow all of the eLions action on our new Twitter account @EnglandGaming and learn more about coach Zac Moore and the five-man squad here.
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