UK's top PES player on path to victory

Dex Kord is the first person to win the official UK Pro Evolution Soccer championship three times in a row.

The 30-year-old from Chester, also known as Ambidextrous, is widely regarded as the UK’s best PES player.

This weekend, he’s competing in a regional qualifier event at Anfield.

The winner will take home over £15,000 in prize money, and the top four finishers will go on to compete in the 2017 World Finals.

This will be held in Cardiff in June, the same weekend as the Champions League final.

Dex Kord

“The season that you have to go through to qualify to get in to this final is a long and laborious task,” he tells Newsbeat.

“People are being flown in from all over Europe.”

‘Some players practise nine hours a day’

“Each player is different,” he explains.

“Some people will be practising eight or nine hours a day in order to feel sharp and ready.

Dex Kord with prize cheque

Image caption Potential prize winnings have gone from relatively small to “astronomical” amounts this year, says Dex

“I prefer to play not more than three or four games a night in the lead up to an event.

“I tend to play better when I go in to a game fresh.”

‘Astronomical’ prize money

“The prize money hasn’t been good enough for people to make a living out of it – until now.

“This year, it’s gone astronomical in comparison to what we have earned as players in the past.

“The world championship winner has won 15,000 euros for the last four years.

Gameplay players lined up

“This year, the winner wins $ 200,000.

“It’s $ 100,000 to second place, and $ 50,000 to third.

“So it is starting to look like money where you could make a living from it.”

Going out on penalties

“Of the three world finals I’ve qualified for, I’ve gone out twice, in true English style, on penalties.

“Once in a semi-final, I got knocked out by Greece on penalties.

“Then last year, I got knocked out by Brazil on penalties.”

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 gameplay still


“I’ve always played Pro Evolution Soccer.

“Don’t get me wrong, I know Fifa has come a long way in the last few years.

“But for me, Pro Evolution is the artists’ game.

Dex Kord

“Anybody can pick up Fifa and enjoy it, and get stuck into it straight away.

“But in order to get good at PES, it takes time, it takes patience. It’s more of a craft.”

Following in Dex’s footsteps

If you fancy yourself as a top-level PES contender, Dex has some tips for you.

“You have to say to yourself, ‘Do I want to compete? Do I want to take this to the next level?’

“Then you need to go online and do your research.

Gameplay tackle

“If you think you are good enough to compete on a world level, you’ll soon build a group of friends or a community you’ll be able to train against.

“For example, I have a WhatsApp group with 20 of the best players from all over the world.

“We train against each other regularly, and we all help each other get better.”

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