Over the past few years we've seen our fair share of wholesome stories come out of the Sea of Thieves community. Recently, father-daughter team Phil and Emma – who originally made waves at Guardian Con by placing second in the Battle for Orlando – were at the centre of one such story!

One of our final Battle for Orlando winners, Gunny629 of Twitch fame, was so impressed by their comradery and skill that he actually gifted the pair his grand prize, a 24k golden Xbox One X console. This kind gesture picked up a lot of steam over on Reddit recently, and to us is a perfect example of what makes the Sea of Thieves community one of the best out there.

After a shout-out in the Pirate Times we'd been in contact with Phil about a full Community Spotlight following his Guardian Con adventure, so if you've caught wind of this tale and want to know a bit more about the delightful duo then you're in the right place. Over to you, Phil!

Phil and Emma made a splash during the Battle for Orlando at Guardian Con!

[Q]: Tell us a little about what got you both into gaming?

[A]: I grew up with a fascination for gaming, so videogames have always held a special place in our home. We own nearly every console since I'm also a collector of these things. The first game to really pull us in was one of the Mario games on the Wii, because we could play it together and this game is hours of fun. Actually, it's probably more like weeks of fun if you add all those hours together.

[Q]: Is gaming something that you get to do often as father and daughter?

[A]: It comes in waves lately now that Emma has so many friends from school to play videogames with, but we still get to play a few times a week. I take what I can get!

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves?

[A]: Absolutely! GoldenEye and Donkey Kong Country were iconic in my teenage years. They were groundbreaking at the time. Visually appealing with tremendous replay value. It's funny to jump back in time and play those games now – lots of things have changed in 20 years. I hope Rare gets the opportunity to revisit those titles someday. Fingers crossed.

[Q]: Do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: Sea of Thieves is my favorite game by far. The adventures I've shared in that game have created so many fond memories for me. Also, I’ve made so many friends with shared interests, it's been refreshing for me. I'm a full-time single father and I work from home, so my social life is fairly limited. This game has helped me find friends to play with daily.

[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?

[A]: Other than Sea of Thieves, you can also catch us playing Rocket League, which is like jet cars playing an aggressive round of soccer. I also enjoy Crackdown 3 which is a big shoot-and-scoot game, filled with explosions and mayhem.

[Q]: What was it that first drew you towards Sea of Thieves and its community?

[A]: My friend picked up the game and introduced me to it. He actually gave me his old Xbox One so that we could play together. I've since purchased my own Xbox and wireless headset and even picked up a new TV just to play this game. Other than the official Forums, I'm also a part of the community on Reddit and Facebook. I love to share amazing clips with others and see what they share as well. Big loot hauls, epic cannon shots and clutch Arena plays are my favorite! 

[Q]: Doing as well as you did in the Battle for Orlando must have been an amazing experience for you both. How did it feel?

[A]: That was a blast! We went there to have fun and I reminded Emma of this on our way there. I tend to get competitive with my regular crew and since we were going to be paired with randoms on unfamiliar equipment, I knew it would be a challenge. Granted, this was the same challenge everyone faced, I'm sure. It was still a blast though!

[Q]: For both of you, what was the highlight of Guardian Con?

[A]: Meeting Jon, Shelley and Jason was the best. We've become familiar with them from the Weekly Streams and Developer Update videos, so it was cool to shake their hands and share my appreciation for the game.

Treasure that would make the Gold Hoarder both proud and jealous...

[Q]: Given how well you did in the tournament, we're dying to know: any game advice or tips for pirate pairs out there?

[A]: Communication is key, and you have to keep eyes on the horizon. Find the strengths of those you sail with and play to those strengths. Most importantly, have fun! The worst thing you can do is stress or lose hope, because some of the best games were when my crew managed to pull off those last-second wins.

Also, you're gonna win some and you're gonna lose some, so be a good sport about it. After our loss at Guardian Con I wanted to go shake the hands of the winning crew. Not only because I respected the plays they made and how they worked so well as a team, but also because I'm a father and every moment like this presents a life lesson. We had the chests we needed to turn the tide and I'm sure Gunny's crew knew this; their primary objective was to arrest our progress. GG guys!

[Q]: Thinking back, are there any standout moments for you in Sea of Thieves since you started playing?

[A]: My all-time favorite moments were the first Megalodon battle from The Hungering Deep and when y'all introduced the skelly fleets. The music, the battles, the difficulty of it all was so perfect.

[Q]: What are your favourite new additions to the game since the Anniversary Update launched?

[A]: The Arena! It's a condensed version of everything I love about this game, crammed into a half-hour. I don't have to worry about stocking the ship, we can just jump right into the action. I love it!

[Q]: What is your greatest achievement in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?

[A]: Becoming a Legendary Sea Dog was tough, but thankfully my crew helped me achieve it. Big shout out to Eric, Danny, Corey, Kaze and James for carrying me to victory so many times. Also, for being friends and watching your language when my daughter jumps in. 

We can only assume Emma's schooling of rival players isn't restricted to just Sea of Thieves.

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate name, what would it be?

[A]: I'm often called the pirate Poseidon because my hair is grey, and my muscular frame is intimidating. So I kind of like that.

[Q]: What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: I have a passion for vintage audio, so my home is filled with old-school Pioneer, JBL, Altec and Klipsch gear. I enjoy repairing electronics, which came from a lifetime of tinkering with things. I also enjoy cooking and eating, that's the Italian in me. My daughter is really into reading books, drawing and baking. She often talks about owning a small café to sell baked goods and showcase art for sale, and as her father I'm going to show her that it's possible.

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourselves. Anything is fair game!

[A]: I was on the Steve Harvey show for a father of the year episode, for my work helping dads learn how to style hair. Although we don't create content any more, you can find our work here. I can braid hair better than most people I know, which I originally learned during my time in the military.

I once changed out a transmission by myself in an old Lincoln of mine. My drink of choice is Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum, this was before I even became a pirate. We have two cats and all they do is beg for food and sleep. I idolize them.


Big thanks to Phil for taking the time to chat with us, and generally to both him and Emma for their time spent sailing the Sea of Thieves. It goes without saying that the mark they've made on the community is greatly appreciated and we look forward to seeing where their adventures take them next!

We're calling it there for this Community Spotlight, but check out the previous ones while you wait for our next one – and in the meantime, be sure to keep up to date on what's new with Sea of Thieves across our plethora of social platforms.

Until next time!