Interview with Nicklas Luginsland – Esoccer player with OI 

Can you tell a little about yourself?
Young man in wheelchairMy name ist Niklas Luginsland, 24 years old. Currently I live at home in Germany with my parents and my brother. One year ago I finished my Bachelor in Public Management. During my studies I lived together with 3 other students. I have type 3 of OI, need a wheelchair all the time. But I feel good at the moment doing a lot of physical sport.

How did you get to E-Sports, in soccer in particular?
I am playing FIFA since 2002, when I was 6 years old. I really love soccer, but I had no opportunity to play. That’s why I started to play Esoccer. Since 4 years I play at high level that means a lot of offline and online tournaments around the world. Since 2018 I am a professional player for VfB Stuttgart Esports.

Please tell us about your recent championship!
My last big tournament was the Bundesliga Home Challenge. Nearly all Clubs of the Bundesliga have professional FIFA players. Meanwhile Corona we played together with soccer players from our club against the other Bundesliga.

What are the requirements for people who want to do this kind of sports?
Its very important to have quick reactions. Because you have to make a lot of decisions within a short time. You also need a very high concentration during the matches. Moreover the mentality of a player is really important. But besides the E-sports training I do a lot of physical sports and healthy food is also important to feel good.

How do you manage training?
At the weekends I often play a lot FIFA. Normally about 12 hours, because we have a lot of competitions. During the week I have to share my time with my master study Leadership and Sports management. In average I play about 1-2 hours a day.

What are the most challenging issues in this kind of sports?
To be concentrated during the long time of matches. For example I have to play 30 matches from Friday to Saturday in Fut Champions Weekend League.

What is/was the most exciting moment for you?
Of course the start of my career in August 2018. It was a fantastic feeling to be introduced in the Mercedes-Benz-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.

What would you recommend to people with OI who are interested in doing soccer eSports?
Follow your dreams and never give up! If you have fun to play FIFA, do it! Train a lot and learn from better players. For example watch the gameplay of them.

What are your future plans?
I am not sure what will happen in the future, but first I want to finish my master study next year. My dream is also to play FIFA for the next few years on this high level. After that I strive for a management position in sports- or public sector. 

Read more about Niklas and E-sports in this news article

Interviewed by Stefanie Wagner, OIFE secretary