A well-known figure in the Sri Lankan Esports Arena, Kushan “ FlasHBuLLeT “ Senanayake is no stranger when it comes to FIFA. Set to represent Sri Lanka in the upcoming Asian Football Gaming Championship in Singapore, we sat down with FlasHBuLLeT to talk about his journey to get to this moment.
Getting into gaming at an early age, FlasHBuLLeT has played through every genre of gaming possible.
First person shooters, racing simulators, sports titles, strategy games, you name it.
But, being an avid football player at school from the age of 10, he’s always had a natural affinity towards Electronic Art’s world famous football gaming title FIFA. Combining the best of both worlds, he started playing the game from its 1998 version onwards.
As the years went by and consoles became more mainstream due to their ease of use, FlasHBuLLeT found himself playing FIFA frequently with his friends – all you needed to do to join in on the fun was just plug in another controller. It was through his friend that he learned about the rise of competitive gaming in Sri Lanka. Armed with almost 10 years’ worth of experience, he made his competitive debut at the 2009 World Championship Gaming Sri Lankan qualifier and bested his opponents to claim a spot. All the years of practice and honing his skills finally paying off, he made it to China, for the main WCG 2009 event. With trick shots and a flashy display of his skills, FlasHBuLLeT defeated seasoned players from Bangladesh, India, and Serbia.
A rising star, he was beginning to get a real taste for competitive gaming.
Two years later, and fresh as ever, FlasHBuLLeT was on his way to Andong, South Korea to represent Sri Lanka once more at the IeSF 2011 World Championship. Running circles around his opponents, FlasHBuLLeT swiftly took down the players representing Russia and the USA. With two years of competitive play, he had built quite the impressive track record. Winning 5 out of the 10 games played at an international level, he claimed the title of best FIFA player in Sri Lanka for the year 2012.
With each passing year, FlasHBuLLeT became a force to reckon with, the absolute best in Sri Lankan FIFA. Snagging medals every year, he had become a highly decorated FIFA veteran, his winnings include
- Sri Lanka Cyber Games (SLCG) 2014 – Gold medal
- PS4 challenge cup 2014 – Gold medal
- 2 v 2 urban challenge silver medal 2015
- SLT Esports Championship 2016 – Gold medal
- SLCG 2016- Silver medal
- SLCG 2018 – Gold medal
Slipping into his football boots once more this year, it was time for FlasHBuLLeT to represent Sri Lanka once again – flying to Malaysia, for the ES sports championship in April 2019. Playing a grand total of 14 matches versus opponents varying in skill from both ends of the spectrum, he broke even. Winning 5 against players from Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and losing 5. While FlasHBuLLeT was accustomed to a high caliber of competition, this tournament, however, was on a different scale of proportions.
Awestruck by how far Esports had come, he realized how it had grown into a multibillion-dollar industry he says.
“Sponsorships, contracts and the acknowledgment as athletes, it’s intense when you think about it. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Sri Lanka.“
Apart from being an Esports Athlete, Kushan “ FlasHBuLLeT “ Senanayake is both academically and athletically gifted as well. At his alma mater Thurstan College, he played Football at a national level for 8 years and continued this streak at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura for another 4 years. As a result of his 12-year Football career, he is a highly decorated colors man at both Thurstan College and the University of Sri Jayawardenepura.
As for his academic prowess, FlasHBuLLeT methodically balanced his studies with sports and esports to a great extent. While he did start his gaming journey at the age of 9, he has also aced every exam thrown his way, Scoring 9 As for his O/Ls and 3 As for his A/Ls. He furthered his studies with a management degree at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura, has completed CIMA and is currently reading for the last level of CFA.
When asked about the future of FIFA in Sri Lankan Esports, FlasHBuLLeT had the following to say;
“ The Sri Lankan FIFA community is brimming with talent and untapped potential. I can confidently say that I’m not even in the top 5 when it comes to pure skill. But, in all my years of playing FIFA at a competitive level, I’ve learned that skill just isn’t enough to get you to the top.
Composure, confidence, and perseverance in the heat of the moment are what gets you to the top, and it’s what inexperienced players lack. Hard work and experience easily beats raw talent.
Right now, we’re in a really interesting place when it comes to Sri Lankan Esports as a whole.
Esports is growing at an accelerated with all the sponsorships and prizes up for grabs and so is FIFA, it’s crazy and it’s only going to get bigger.
My advice for budding FIFA Esports Athletes?
Never give up and make every match a learning experience. “
Capitalizing on his colorful history in Esports and experiences at recent tournaments, FlasHBuLLeT hopes to make a top 8 finish at this year’s Asian Football Gaming Championship in July, we wish him the very best.