With the beginning of the first round of qualifiers, the FIFA fans following our League had the chance to hear Stevan Mačkić be a part of the casting duo along with PvtMole. Inviting Stevan to be a part of our League was one of the things that the big majority of viewers wanted to see in the sixth season, so we listened to our community and made it happen. Stevan gladly accepted the offer and he will be a regular during the sixth season of A1 Adria League. Stevan is a famous name in the regional FIFA scene, but for those that haven’t heard of him, we decided to contact him and ask him a couple of questions about his past, present, and expectations for A1 Adria League.
Hey Stevan, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. First, could you introduce yourself to those that don’t know you?
Greetings to all the competitive FIFA fans in the region. My name is Stevan Mačkić, 25 years old, from Belgrade, Serbia. I am the inaugural Belgrade Games.CON 2016 FIFA champion. In 2018, I became the first FIFA team manager in this part of Europe when Red Star Belgrade Esports appointed me in that position. The 2018/19 season was huge for the competitive scene because the club signed the best ranked PS4 Serbian player Miloš Majdevac and the Slovenian Jean Ternik along with two other Xbox players and streamers. We went on to win all the major domestic LAN events, competed in the FIFA Global Series qualifiers, and became the first esports organization in the Balkans to secure a slot in the qualifications for the FIFA eClub World Cup 2019. After one year in charge, I decided to part ways with the organization and dedicated myself to FIFA casting and analysis. The biggest honor for me was when the official site of FIFA wrote an article about my career:
When did you start playing FIFA and how did begin with your casting career?
Back in 2001, having a PlayStation was a luxury for me so I basically spent a lot of time in the gaming houses. Even though PES was a huge hit in Serbia at that time, I was fortunate enough to discover several other football games such as UEFA Champions League Season 2001/2002, Football Kingdom, and of course, FIFA. The first title that I played was FIFA International Soccer on the Sega Mega Drive but the first game in the series that I actually bought for the PC was FIFA Football 2002 featuring Thierry Henry on the cover, and I never looked back since.
As soon as I started playing I was hooked, so the next objective was to find a proper competition. In that period the biggest tournament was the World Cyber Games national qualifiers held at the Belgrade Fair complex, but unfortunately I was too young to travel so the only thing I could do is watch and learn from the pros such as Predrag Đuričić, Aleksandar Sofronić, Goran Rebić, Nemanja Đurkić and Igor Kesar. In 2016. I managed to defeat Goran and Igor at the inaugural Belgrade Games.CON and become the champion at the same spot that I used to watch these guys as a kid, which was crazy for me.
Shortly after the victory, I was contacted by Partizan esports representative to become a pro-FIFA player, but I insisted that I needed a much better result than just one LAN event victory so we agreed that the best thing for me is to become a manager and caster, someone who will promote FIFA as an esport. The first commentary that I did was in April 2017, when I shot the pilot episode for eSuperLeague in the studio of the Arena Sport television.
Which tournaments have you cast so far? Which one was your favorite?
As manager of Red Star Belgrade esports, just a few months after I signed the contract, our best ranked FUT player Miloš „brstimir“ Majdevac participated in the Man City esports North America qualifier #1. I decided to make that tournament a series named „Road to Manchester“ for the club’s YouTube channel. The series consisted of 8 matches against pro players from North America such as Portland Timbers „X_Thiago_Silva_O“ and „BosnianMonster11“, pro player of Columbus Crew SC. The culmination of the tournament was the match against Remi Martinn, who is now playing for Los Angeles FC.
After Red Star, I casted several FIFA Balkan Community tournaments, with the most notable ones being the final of the FBC Cup 2020 between Miloš Majdevac and Esad Memić, and also the FBC Invitational 2020.
Did you watch the previous season of A1 Adria League? What have been some players that surprised you and what did you think of the organization behind the tournament?
I am a huge fan of the FIFA Global Series and the competitive scene in general so I tend to watch a lot of FIFA. The fifth season of A1 Adria is the closest thing similar to the Global Series and that is the direction that the regional community wants to evolve moving forward. After casting the FBC Invitational, I knew that the League would deliver some shocking results and new faces will emerge on the scene. Going into the competition obviously the favorites at the start were brstimir and FIFAFICO, and the first qualifier confirmed that, but as the League progressed, you could see that the key to success is consistency. If you look at the top 8 of the A1 Adria standings in the fifth season, you can see that the winner of the first qualifier hasn’t reached the playoffs which is a huge upset. The one player that showed the best form during the qualifiers is Robert Peršaj, but for me that is no surprise because I had the opportunity to watch him play and I knew that his form at that time was phenomenal.
What are your expectations going into the sixth season of the League? Are we going to see some new players rise up, or do you think someone from the old guard will take the throne again?
Week in and week out players need to deliver their best performances if they want to reach the finals in Zagreb. Of course, the whole situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge factor and I hope that things will get better with time so that the players can travel, but in any case, we will be ready to show the audience the best FIFA that the Balkan can offer in this moment. The season will be long and unique in many ways because we have FIFA 21 coming up, and also the release of the new generation of consoles.
Several players have a point to prove this season. Esad Memić will be looking to defend his title, Miloš Majdevac wants to dethrone him and show the community that he still is the best in this region, but the newcomers such as amke2001, Hara, arminho0307, Jasikfifa, HarisBL and Cano 19 11 will be looking to interfere and make a name for themselves.
Are you excited to be casting with PvtMole? What do you think of him as a caster? Anything else you would like to add?
It is very difficult to commentate competitive FIFA, especially Ultimate Team, because of the unique gameplay and the speed of the action on the field. I think that we will bring excitement to the fans but also add some interesting facts and things related to the global professional scene that you haven’t heard in the previous tournaments. I have a lot in store for the audience in terms of analysis, player interviews, and statistics. It is a huge honor for me to be a part of this project. I would like to thank the A1 Adria League and the whole admin team for this opportunity.