6 things we learned from FIWC17 (FIFA Interactive World Cup)

With the recently concluded FIWC17 tournament just over a week behind us, we take a look back and highlight some of the things we learned from attending the event.

People are very optimistic about FIFA18 and the growth of FIFA as an Esport

Everyone seems to be incredibly optimistic about FIFA as an Esport. Some important changes are coming to make it more uniform in FIFA18. EA has taken an important step to creating the conditions which are necessary for a popular Esport.

Cross-platform balancing, team balancing and probably another increase in prize pool are all important. It is logical after the success of this year’s event that the prize pool will go up. It will be exciting to see how much the game grows from now and FIWC18.

The players, the coaches and all the personalities involved with FIFA all seemed to agree that FIFA18 was going to include a lot of big changes to the pro scene. There was definitely a large amount of optimism about the development of the pro scene and the belief that it could grow is extremely important.

FIFA will be delighted with the success of FIWC17. As they kept saying during their livestream, the prize pool had grown by 10x, the number of people who entered the tournament more than tripled to 7,000,000 and the game was becoming more popular across the world.

It was obvious that EA and the tournament organisers had even bigger plans for FIWC18 and for FIFA18. A lot of the changes they are making to FIFA18 are things which are important for an Esport.

They will also be encouraging more clubs to get involved and they will also be waiting to set-up new leagues like France’s e-league 1.

Tass Harry FIWC17

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 16: Tassal “TassÓ Rushan of England speaks with his coach in his game against Rafael “Rafifa 13” Fortes of Brazil during day one of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017 on August 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Underdogs cannot be underestimated

FILTHYP94, JOEY and even players like JANOZ weren’t given much hope versus players such as ROCKYY and GORILLA. The most important thing that we learned from FIWC17 is that the underdogs in Esports cannot be underestimated.

There were some other players that despite not making it out of the group stages, deserve a mention as strong looking players who on a different day may have progressed to the knockout stages.

One player, in particular, wasn’t considered to be a strong player but put in a few good performances against top talent. AMEGHESSIB was the first player to get to the FIWC from Qatar in the history of the tournament.

He had no chance to practise against high quality players as the competition simply wasn’t fierce enough in Qatar. This is another thing we learned from FIWC17, That there has to be some way of players from the smaller, less competitive regions to practise. This would benefit both sets of players. It would expose players like ROCKYY to different play styles and it would allow players like AMEGHESSIB to practise against much better players.

The gap between Europe and other regions is closing

Football has never been the biggest sport in North America but this has changed over the recent years. With some big names in Europe signing for clubs like LA Galaxy, the popularity of the sport has spread massively.

Football is becoming more of a recognised sport across the region and as such it’s beginning to catch up with Europe. This is also the case with FIFA. Germany, which has traditionally been a strong team in FIFA, showed up  in full strength at FIWC17. With 3 Germans in the divisional finals and 1 in the grand final, many people recognised the country’s dominance.

The North Americans had 3 players in the quarter-finals. This definitely showed that the gap has closed significantly since the last FIWC. When asked about coming to FIWC18 all of the NA players seemed confident that they’d be back next year. JOEY talked about the need to “grind, play everyday”. It sounded as if a lot of the NA players were planning on coming back even stronger.

Experience is very important

In the grand final of the FIWC17, both DETO and GORILLA had been around in the pro scene for quite a while. GORILLA mentioned in an interview that he had ‘only’ been around for 3 years.

GORILLA is one of the more experienced players in the pro scene at the tournament. DETO is perhaps of the most experienced players of all the FIFA pros. He has been around since the FIFA Championship 2006 and had won many competitions on his way to FIWC17.

CODYDERFINISHER and TIMOX who were both divisional finalists and both played far more experienced players in an attempt to go through to the next round, both lost. One of the most important things, when you’re playing a final, is composure.

It’s far more easy to remain composed when you’re used to playing on the big stages. Both CODYDERFINSIHER and TIMOX discussed how different it was playing at home as opposed to playing on stage.

CODYDERFINISHER talked about how he wasn’t used to all the lights and the sounds. It can be off-putting when you’re trying to play a game and all these people are distracting you. Both GORILLA and DETO, on the other hand, were used to these distractions. DETO even said at the press conference that once you’re used to all these distractions then it’s far easier to play your game and focus.

Gullit FIWC17

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 18: Ruud Gullit talks during day three of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017 Grand Final at Central Hall Westminster on August 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIWC17 production quality was top notch

FIFA should be very happy with the quality of the streams and with how everything ran so smoothly. There were no major problems except possibly a few console problems which were out of the organiser’s control. Everything else was top quality. Even the food was amazing and the team behind the entire event should be patting themselves on the back.

Maybe they read our thoughts after the Munich Qualifiers?

UNILAD_GORILLA’S special controller

Although this was only briefly mentioned at the event, it’s worth mentioning here. Apparently, in the Grand Finals, UNILAD_GORILLA used a controller that was more similar to an Xbox controller when playing on the PS4 leg.

The way the final worked was that the players would play one leg on an ‘away’ console and one on their ‘home’ console. GORILLA using an Xbox-like controller could’ve possibly negated the little advantage that DETO should’ve had on his ‘home’ console.

If GORILLA was allowed to use a special controller then was DETO allowed to as well? Does the ‘feel’ of the controller give an advantage? Does it even matter? This might be something that will be looked at closer in the future.