DOOLSTA'S INCREDIBLE JOURNEY TO THE PINNACLE OF FIFA ESPORTS CONTINUES IN NASHVILLE
NASHVILLE – Most 19-year-old college freshmen would say they can hold their own in a game of EA Sports FIFA.
Not many can say they’ve won a major FIFA eSports trophy, competed at the highest level of FIFA eSports across the globe and have played FIFA games against celebrities like Meek Mill.
That’s exactly what Cormac “Doolsta” Dooley has done at just 19 years old. And now, the freshman at Temple University and reigning eMLS Cup champion has signed on to be Nashville SC’s eMLS athlete for the 2020 season.
Doolsta spent last season as the Philadelphia Union’s eMLS athlete and swept all three major eMLS events en route to an eMLS Cup title. He also competed across the globe in eChampions League and the FIFA 19 Global Series Playoffs, finishing the 2019 campaign as the 19th-ranked FIFA player in the entire world.
He trains hard to excel in the eSports world, playing at least two hours of FIFA every day. But there’s more to Doolsta than just his time hitting the sticks with a headset on. The Philadelphia native grew up in Galway, Ireland, and played a whopping seven sports before he even considered a professional FIFA career. Once he moved back to Philadelphia, he entered an open tournament held by the Union.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“Growing up in Ireland, I lived in a village in the countryside,” Doolsta said. “I never really thought I’d get to anywhere near this. I moved after my fourth year of secondary school in Ireland and I only would have had two years left. I came here sophomore year of high school here. It was tough, it was a big change. People had difficulty understanding me a bit, so it was new accents and stuff like that. Just getting used to the school. Once I got used to it, it was enjoyable. I kept playing FIFA and then the Union held a tournament, and luckily enough I was able to win that. After that, I kind of took off and then the following year, I stayed with the Union and managed to qualify for a few international events and went on to win all three eMLS events. I never really thought I’d get to where I am now, and now being in Nashville, it’s crazy. It’s a dream come true, doing something I love to do and getting paid for it.”
Doolsta recently started his freshman year at Temple University and is studying for a career in sports management. Through a unique partnership with Nashville SC, he will be able to get his education on a scholarship funded by the club while competing in eMLS and global FIFA events for Nashville SC.
His fame in the eSports world has not gone unnoticed at Temple.
“I’ve had a good few people recognize me on campus,” he said. “When I signed up for club soccer, the guys recognized me and were kind of saying you’re basically on the team, we want you on the team. After one of my math classes, a guy stopped me and said ‘you’re doolsta, right? Do you mind if we take a picture, I’m a big fan.’ People are always challenging me to games and stuff at Temple. It’s kind of cool to get recognized.”
An avid soccer player, Doolsta features regularly on Temple’s club soccer team. His experience as a holding midfielder on the pitch helps inform his playing style in FIFA.
“There’s a lot of things that intertwine between real-life soccer and virtual FIFA,” Doolsta said. “I’m a center mid, so the way I play FIFA, I like to dictate the tempo, control the pace of the game and possess. I like to keep the ball between my midfielders a lot and wait for the space to open. Once I see a gap or an attacker run, I play that ball just like I would on the pitch.”
Doolsta’s first official competition as Nashville SC’s eSports athlete will be in November in the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series event in Bucharest, Romania. He is grateful for the unique opportunity to continue his education while also playing the game that he loves.
“Living in Philadelphia and playing there the last two years, it was great,” Doolsta said. “But getting ready for college, it’s not cheap. I needed some way to pay for it, and then Nashville came in with a great offer that really helped me out with my college tuition and stuff. You can’t really turn that down. It was right for me, and it was right for my family. It was kind of a no-brainer really, and I’m just grateful that Nashville has offered me this and allowed me to continue my education as well as playing FIFA at a high level.”
Nashville SC fans will have the chance to meet Doolsta this week at the Tennessee EA Sports FIFA Challenge Invitational Final in Nashville on Sunday, Nov. 3, where the top eight players from the four regional tournaments conducted across Tennessee will compete to become the ultimate state champion. The Invitational Final is open to the public and scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. CT in the Memorial Room at Alumni Hall on the campus of Vanderbilt University.