Written By: Steve Vegvari
The new season of NHL is here. As NHL 19 hits consoles worldwide, competitive players look to sharpen their skates and get back on the virtual ice.
For Nicola “Foolx90” Bruna, this marks a special year for NHL. Foolx90 will be trying to replicate his success on the pro-level circuit. During the tail-end of the NHL 18 season, Foolx90 participated in the NHL Gaming World Championship series.
Of the eight qualifying players representing Canada, Foolx90 and Yung Gren were the two finalists to advance into the finals. In the end, Foolx90 placed fourth, but walked away with a lot of knowledge and admiration for the competitive scene.
On top of that, Foolx90 is very optimistic of the changes and additional features included in NHL 19. The overwhelming amount of positive reception is a good thing for the community, as well as the NHL competitive scene.
Steve: Can you introduce yourself?
Foolx90: My name is Nicola Bruna aka Foolx90 from Montreal, Quebec, and a huge fan of hockey. I have been playing video games ever since I could use my hands. I love adventures; going camping, exploring open waters, etc.
Steve: What was the first NHL game you played?
Foolx90: I started playing during NHL 2005. But I had started playing for fun as a kid back in ‘94. I started playing more competitively during NHL 09.
Steve: Was there a reason why you felt compelled to play NHL?
Foolx90: I’ve always been a big fan of hockey. My family has always been a hockey family. So it mixed well because the video games I played just happened to be the sport that I love. So it worked out well. I play hockey in real life, and I play hockey virtually. Hockey is my life.
Steve: What made you decide to pursue esports?
Foolx90: I have always enjoyed the competition. When I was playing online, I realized I was beating a lot of people. So I thought that because I was playing better than the majority I could go somewhere if I kept at it, and this past year proved it.
Steve: At what point did you know you were playing well enough to start competing?
Foolx90: Back during NHL 13-14 I was playing and realized I was getting some crazy, crazy records. At one point I was at 200-0. I was very intense, so I thought to myself “Okay, I’m pretty sure I am in with some of the best players in the world right now.” It was a pretty cool feeling.
Steve: How did you get involved with SetToDestroyX?
Foolx90: They actually approached me after I qualified for the NHL Gaming World Championship. I was performing very well and I knew people from the community. My personality made me stand out. They wanted to work with me not only because I was a gamer, but because of my personality.
Steve: Are you looking to participate in any competitive LANs this year?
Foolx90: Yes, I plan to participate in three tournaments soon. One will be online and two are local tournaments.
Steve: Have you had a chance to play NHL 19 at all?
Foolx90: Yes, I actually played the beta. I have also been playing it on EA Access on the Xbox One. I honestly really, really enjoy it. The skating is a lot better and that was the main issue with NHL 18. There is a lot more fluidity in the skating and makes for a larger skill gap. Better teams, or better players will be able to outperform their opponent.
Steve: What excites you the most about NHL 19?
Foolx90: To be honest, I play to have fun. The game so far has permitted me to have a lot of fun with. Also, the NHL GWC really opened up my eyes to refocus my goals and I want to experience that all over again. I want to relive it.
Steve: Do you feel like any of the changes made in the game will have an impact on the way you play?
Foolx90: Yes, I think everyone is going to have to adjust to the new skating mechanics. There is going to be a difference in the plays you’ll be able to make, a difference to the plays that will be open. There are certain goals that use to work in NHL 18 that will not necessarily work anymore. You’ll be focusing on defending different goals from last year.
Steve: Do you see these changes being a hindrance at all?
Foolx90: I think it will make the franchise better. The skating is a major part, and while there are things that EA Sports could improve on, but overall I give them a big round of applause. EA has put a lot of work into gameplay this year. That is what we needed.
Steve: It sounds like you are feeling pretty positive about the new season.
Foolx90: Yeah, and I’ve noticed online that the community’s vibe has been very different compared to previous year. We have not seen this kind of positivity in a long time. There are obviously negative people, but overall we are really coming together to help EA Sports to give them the tools on what to improve. Telling them what we like, and don’t like we can really work together to make the game better.
Steve: Where can people find you online?
Foolx90: You can find me on Twitter. You can find me on Twitch. I recently began streaming and plan on streaming a lot more because of NHL 19. For people interested in Facebook, find me there. I am very open to speaking with anyone.
For more on NHL 19, keep it locked to Inside WorldGaming Network.
About The Author: Steve Vegvari
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.