Since the official announcement of the date and venue came thru from the official FIWC social media account, troubling news has been trickling thru about the event. Players and fans were informed that the FIWC ROW Qualifiers will be taking place in Doha, Qatar, on July 7-8.
FIWC ROW Qualifiers – The problem with Qatar
Unless you have been living under a rock the last few weeks, you would’ve known that Qatar has basically been cut off from the rest of the Middle Eastern world. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt are just some of the countries which have closed all access to the country, and have banned their citizens from travelling to the country.
This means that all the competitors who have rightfully qualified to compete at the event from the countries mentioned above, will not be able to go and compete. Since the official list of who has, or was, supposed to attend has not been released, we have no idea how many competitors this impacts.
The political instability makes travel a nightmare, and security and safety also a big issue. The organisers need to communicate with all parties involved travelling to the FIWC ROW Qualifiers they will be able to safely come, compete, and leave.
What are the FIFA Pros saying?
The official announcement of the tournament venue and date came 10 days before the event. That’s pretty tight. MF Marko, a competitor from Australia, has stated that he will not attend. The timing of the event, is one among the many reasons stated. Saud Almutairi also will not be able to attend, as he is from Saudi Arabia.
Either because they can’t due to timing, or can’t because of the travel ban, the FIWC ROW Qualifiers may well be lacking in talent.
The Final Straw – Change of Game Mode
All of the Major events thus far have been on the FUT game mode. The FUT Champions series, the final in Berlin, and the EU FIWC Qualifiers, have all been on FUT. For some reason, the organisers of the FIWC ROW Qualifiers have decided to change the game mode to Head to Head.
The competitors for the FIWC ROW Qualifiers had their spots booked due to FUT results. The two modes have clear differences. It’s like playing with a round ball up until now, and then now being told to play with a square one.
The running theory is that the FUT servers are run separately, and they have been having problems lately. This has been an ongoing issue on some online forums where users from the Middle East were complaining about multiple connection problems.
Overall, it looks like this event will be a dud. Seems like we spoke too soon in our 10 things we learned from the last regionals.