USE CODE XMAS21 TO get 20% off past issues, season packs and subscriptions
Don't miss out
Interview

Magic Touch

Meet Elz the Witch, casting her spell across pro gaming, football presenting and plenty more. Just don’t mention Tammy Abraham

INTERVIEW Dan Poole

Probably best to start with the name. Because, to clarify, Elz the Witch is not a member of any actual coven. Instead she could get a bit irritable at school and rather than calling her a grumpy bitch, her friends would say, “Don’t be a witch today.” It stuck, but Elz turned it to her advantage. She’s got a habit of doing that. After university she worked in IT for nearly four years, but didn’t like the environment (“Because I was a girl, no one trusted me”) and so quit – to become a pro gamer with her own YouTube channel. And now, among other things, she’s a regular presenter on the BBC’s MOTDx, has her own show on radio station KissFM, is a member of EA’s LDN VOLTA Squad and a panellist for the eChampions League. So, we figured it was time to catch up with her – or try to, anyway.

When did you first become interested in football?

When I was younger I used to train at Ipswich Town. But it lasted two weeks: nobody would pass me the ball because I was the only girl, so I used to go around pinching everyone and then I’d get sent off. I thought, “This is obviously not for me.” My dad is a season-ticket holder at Norwich City, so he would take me to games sometimes – but if the opposition scored I’d stand up and clap. In the home end. So he stopped inviting me. Then, when I went to Manchester University, the area where I lived was all Manchester City supporters, so I decided to adopt City as my team. Now the more I learn, the more I fall in love.

Are you pleased that Bernardo Silva is on our cover?

Yes! I interviewed him once and he was lovely, so relaxed and friendly.

Elz combines her love of gaming and fashion with fast-improving skills on the ball

When you’re gaming, do you play FIFA?

Yes, but I’m not amazing at it. I played and interviewed Shellzz earlier this year – he won the ePremier League for City. That was a personal low: he beat me 8-0. I’ve also played against Tammy Abraham. He scored something like seven goals and the last one he scored with himself, on purpose, just to rub salt in the wound.

You’re in EA’s LDN VOLTA Squad. How’s that?

So fun. Last year our gaffer was Ian Wright and he taught me my first football trick: you have the ball in between your legs and then kick it up and catch it. My dad loved that; he’s got a soft spot for Arsenal.

And you’ve got a series on your YouTube channel where you’re working on your football skills.

I’ve actually improved a little bit and I feel more confident now. I’m aiming high: I want to do something with Soccer Aid.

If people pre-judge me because I’m a female, I want to prove them wrong.

Gaming and football are male-dominated. Have you experienced sexism in your career?

If people pre-judge me because I’m a female, I want to prove them wrong. And when I was younger I didn’t have a female to look up to who was into gaming but also make-up and fashion, who could still be girly. I have to watch what I wear on camera because I don’t want it to be case of, “Oh, she’s only there because she looks like that.” Though that’s what you get anyway, which is why I don’t look at my comments. I know that I do a good job so I don’t need to be validated.

Is it getting better?

I think in some ways it is, not least with women’s football becoming so massive. Then you’ve got people like Alex Scott, who is doing amazingly; she’s the first English female voice on FIFA, which is incredible. Laura Woods too, she’s fantastic, and Emma Hayes was one of my favourite pundits during the EURO. Then with young people like myself, Chelcee Grimes,  Emma Jones – who does a lot of stuff with Leeds United – it offers a glimmer of hope, a positive sign of things to come. I’m excited.

Probably best to start with the name. Because, to clarify, Elz the Witch is not a member of any actual coven. Instead she could get a bit irritable at school and rather than calling her a grumpy bitch, her friends would say, “Don’t be a witch today.” It stuck, but Elz turned it to her advantage. She’s got a habit of doing that. After university she worked in IT for nearly four years, but didn’t like the environment (“Because I was a girl, no one trusted me”) and so quit – to become a pro gamer with her own YouTube channel. And now, among other things, she’s a regular presenter on the BBC’s MOTDx, has her own show on radio station KissFM, is a member of EA’s LDN VOLTA Squad and a panellist for the eChampions League. So, we figured it was time to catch up with her – or try to, anyway.

When did you first become interested in football?

When I was younger I used to train at Ipswich Town. But it lasted two weeks: nobody would pass me the ball because I was the only girl, so I used to go around pinching everyone and then I’d get sent off. I thought, “This is obviously not for me.” My dad is a season-ticket holder at Norwich City, so he would take me to games sometimes – but if the opposition scored I’d stand up and clap. In the home end. So he stopped inviting me. Then, when I went to Manchester University, the area where I lived was all Manchester City supporters, so I decided to adopt City as my team. Now the more I learn, the more I fall in love.

Are you pleased that Bernardo Silva is on our cover?

Yes! I interviewed him once and he was lovely, so relaxed and friendly.

Read the full story
Sign up now – or sign in – to read the rest of this feature and access all articles for free. Once you have signed up you will also be able to enter exclusive competitions and win great prizes.
Elz combines her love of gaming and fashion with fast-improving skills on the ball

When you’re gaming, do you play FIFA?

Yes, but I’m not amazing at it. I played and interviewed Shellzz earlier this year – he won the ePremier League for City. That was a personal low: he beat me 8-0. I’ve also played against Tammy Abraham. He scored something like seven goals and the last one he scored with himself, on purpose, just to rub salt in the wound.

You’re in EA’s LDN VOLTA Squad. How’s that?

So fun. Last year our gaffer was Ian Wright and he taught me my first football trick: you have the ball in between your legs and then kick it up and catch it. My dad loved that; he’s got a soft spot for Arsenal.

And you’ve got a series on your YouTube channel where you’re working on your football skills.

I’ve actually improved a little bit and I feel more confident now. I’m aiming high: I want to do something with Soccer Aid.

If people pre-judge me because I’m a female, I want to prove them wrong.

Gaming and football are male-dominated. Have you experienced sexism in your career?

If people pre-judge me because I’m a female, I want to prove them wrong. And when I was younger I didn’t have a female to look up to who was into gaming but also make-up and fashion, who could still be girly. I have to watch what I wear on camera because I don’t want it to be case of, “Oh, she’s only there because she looks like that.” Though that’s what you get anyway, which is why I don’t look at my comments. I know that I do a good job so I don’t need to be validated.

Is it getting better?

I think in some ways it is, not least with women’s football becoming so massive. Then you’ve got people like Alex Scott, who is doing amazingly; she’s the first English female voice on FIFA, which is incredible. Laura Woods too, she’s fantastic, and Emma Hayes was one of my favourite pundits during the EURO. Then with young people like myself, Chelcee Grimes,  Emma Jones – who does a lot of stuff with Leeds United – it offers a glimmer of hope, a positive sign of things to come. I’m excited.

Probably best to start with the name. Because, to clarify, Elz the Witch is not a member of any actual coven. Instead she could get a bit irritable at school and rather than calling her a grumpy bitch, her friends would say, “Don’t be a witch today.” It stuck, but Elz turned it to her advantage. She’s got a habit of doing that. After university she worked in IT for nearly four years, but didn’t like the environment (“Because I was a girl, no one trusted me”) and so quit – to become a pro gamer with her own YouTube channel. And now, among other things, she’s a regular presenter on the BBC’s MOTDx, has her own show on radio station KissFM, is a member of EA’s LDN VOLTA Squad and a panellist for the eChampions League. So, we figured it was time to catch up with her – or try to, anyway.

When did you first become interested in football?

When I was younger I used to train at Ipswich Town. But it lasted two weeks: nobody would pass me the ball because I was the only girl, so I used to go around pinching everyone and then I’d get sent off. I thought, “This is obviously not for me.” My dad is a season-ticket holder at Norwich City, so he would take me to games sometimes – but if the opposition scored I’d stand up and clap. In the home end. So he stopped inviting me. Then, when I went to Manchester University, the area where I lived was all Manchester City supporters, so I decided to adopt City as my team. Now the more I learn, the more I fall in love.

Are you pleased that Bernardo Silva is on our cover?

Yes! I interviewed him once and he was lovely, so relaxed and friendly.

Elz combines her love of gaming and fashion with fast-improving skills on the ball

When you’re gaming, do you play FIFA?

Yes, but I’m not amazing at it. I played and interviewed Shellzz earlier this year – he won the ePremier League for City. That was a personal low: he beat me 8-0. I’ve also played against Tammy Abraham. He scored something like seven goals and the last one he scored with himself, on purpose, just to rub salt in the wound.

You’re in EA’s LDN VOLTA Squad. How’s that?

So fun. Last year our gaffer was Ian Wright and he taught me my first football trick: you have the ball in between your legs and then kick it up and catch it. My dad loved that; he’s got a soft spot for Arsenal.

And you’ve got a series on your YouTube channel where you’re working on your football skills.

I’ve actually improved a little bit and I feel more confident now. I’m aiming high: I want to do something with Soccer Aid.

If people pre-judge me because I’m a female, I want to prove them wrong.

Gaming and football are male-dominated. Have you experienced sexism in your career?

If people pre-judge me because I’m a female, I want to prove them wrong. And when I was younger I didn’t have a female to look up to who was into gaming but also make-up and fashion, who could still be girly. I have to watch what I wear on camera because I don’t want it to be case of, “Oh, she’s only there because she looks like that.” Though that’s what you get anyway, which is why I don’t look at my comments. I know that I do a good job so I don’t need to be validated.

Is it getting better?

I think in some ways it is, not least with women’s football becoming so massive. Then you’ve got people like Alex Scott, who is doing amazingly; she’s the first English female voice on FIFA, which is incredible. Laura Woods too, she’s fantastic, and Emma Hayes was one of my favourite pundits during the EURO. Then with young people like myself, Chelcee Grimes,  Emma Jones – who does a lot of stuff with Leeds United – it offers a glimmer of hope, a positive sign of things to come. I’m excited.

close
To access this article, as well as all CJ+ content and competitions, you will need a subscription to Champions Journal.
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Special Offers
christmas offer
Christmas CHEER
Up to 40% off
Start shopping
50% off
game night flash sale!!!
Don't miss out
00
Hours
:
00
minutes
:
00
Seconds
Valid on selected products only. subscriptions not included
close