Phoenix players selected for 2023 E-League

Campbell Knowles and Josh King will represent the Wellington Phoenix in this year’s E-League.

Knowles (Airbrn) and King (JMKKing) secured the Phoenix’s two berths in the E-League group stage by being the top two players at the club’s play-in tournament.

They will now vie for three places in the FIFA Global Series Oceania Play-In and $10,000 AUD worth of prizes.

The E-League group stage will run over six weeks, starting March 7, with the top six players from each of the two 12-strong groups advancing to the playoffs in May. The final four players will be flown to a TBC location to play in-person (LAN) for the E-League Grand Final on Saturday, May 13.

Knowles, 23, is representing the Phoenix for the fourth straight year.

“It was always a dream to be able to represent a club that I grew up supporting, and to be able to have done it now for the last three years has been an amazing experience,” he said.

“I’m not the most talented footballer ever so it’s incredible to be able to represent a club that you love on the virtual pitch.

“There’s a lot of pride and history attached to the club, and being able to put on the yellow and black and adding to that history is awesome.” 

Neither of the club’s E-League representatives managed to advance from their group last year, with Knowles finishing a disappointing fifth in the ‘group of death’.

“Last year was definitely not ideal in terms of the results I achieved. I felt like I was capable of giving more and getting some better results, especially since I had been leading in four of the five games I played.

“However, the experience taught me a lot and helped me understand some of the areas that I needed to work on, which I have been able to do for the past few months and now I feel like I’m in a much better position than I was 12 months ago.

“So, I’m hoping not only for a change in results, but the ability to showcase what I’ve been working on behind the scenes.”

King, 23, has been named in the Phoenix Esports team for the first time, having represented Western United in 2021.

“I am very excited to finally have the opportunity to play for the Nix,” he said. “It has been one of the things on my list to check off in my career and now I finally have that opportunity.

“It means a lot for me to say I am playing for the Phoenix. It’s the team I support and my friends and family support. I know they are all going to be cheering me on and giving me the support throughout the competition as well

“I will be working hard to go as far as possible in the E-League repping the black and yellow.”