The eight esport finalists have been decided as they will compete the same weekend as the Champions League final for $100,000.
Manchester was packed with some of the world’s best FIFA 19 players as they were all looking to book their place in the final eight of the first ever eChampions League final. The PlayStation 4 tournament will take place in Madrid on the same weekend as the Champions League final winner will lift the trophy pitchside while the winner wil earn a staggering $100,000 and 850 FIFA Global Series points.
With so much on the line, the live qualifier was a tightly contested affair with multiple upsets taking place. To get you ready for the finals next month, here are the five major talking points from the qualifier.
Competing in a virtual eChampions League was too good an opportunity for most players to pass up as some of Xbox’s best players switched over to PlayStation for the tournament including Xbox’s top two players Donovan “F2Tekkz” Hunt and Mossad “MSDossary” Aldossary.
MSdossary is well known for his dominance on both consoles and almost always wins whenever he competes in England. The Saudi Arabian seemed like a certainty for the finals but he was eliminated by Complexity’s Joksan Redona in a shocking 5-2 defeat.
On the other hand, no player has managed to reach the same heights as world No. 1 F2Tekkz who went into the tournament with 11,215 Global Series points, more than double the tally of MSDossary who has the second most points in the world. Though F2Tekkz has been honest about his weakness on PlayStation, saying ahead of the tournament that he was expecting to be eliminated in the group stages. He did make it out of groups but fell at the final hurdle, missing out on Madrid too but the practice on PlayStation could prove to be invaluable.
That just leaves PlayStation’s number one seed Nicolas “Nicolas99fc” Villalba who should have been in his comfort zone but in a surprising turn of events, was eliminated too. The eight finalists will be delighted as now, this is anyone’s tournament.
Easily the biggest upset of the weekend, Bulgarian pro Ivan “Night Watch” Churov came into the PlayStation tournament as the 46th seed on Xbox and as a free agent but ended up qualifying for the final eight by eliminating world number one F2Tekkz.
Coached by now banned player Kylem “Lyricz” Edwards, Night Watch defeated Tekkz 6-4 to book his place in Madrid. The Bulgarian exploded with emotion after the monumental victory, you could see what this meant to him.
It was a weekend of mixed emotions for French esports organisation Team Vitality as Fouad “Rafsou” Fares booked his place in the final eight but did so at the expense of teammate Corentin “Maestro” Thullier.
Maestro was one of the favourites going into the tournament following on from his eNations Cup win and his placing of third in the PlayStation Global Series rankings but it wasn’t meant to be as Rafsou thrashed him 7-0 in the knockouts. After such an impressive win, Rafsou will be one of the players to watch in the finals.
While Europe continues to dominate the FIFA 19 competitive scene, North America is growing its presence at tournaments and for them, the eChampions League qualifiers were a great success. Three American players booked their place in the final eight with FC Dallas’ Alan Avi, New York City FC’s Chris “NYC_Chris” Holly and Complexity’s Joksan.
World PlayStation number four Joksan had an incredible start to the year but fell off towards the middle of the season. Now he is back with a vengeance as he reached the knockouts with a dramatic 120th-minute winner against Owen “Venny” Venn and then eliminated MSDossary with an impressive 5-2 win before booking his place in Madrid with a win over Arsenal ePremier League representative Curtis “Paps” Poole.
One of the strongest contenders in the final eight will be North’s Marcus “Marcuzo” Jorgensen who has had a fantastic month. The Dane had a great showing at the eNations Cup before helping FC Copenhagen win the eSuperliga.
Now, with the coaching of teammate August “Agge” Rossenmeier, Marcuzo has qualified for the eChampions League finals with victories over Finish pro Jeese “Kossu72” Kosamo and PlayStation’s top seed Nicolas99fc. If Marcuzo can continue his same form, he’ll be lifting the eChampions League trophy next month.