The tension at the Central Hall in Westminster reached boiling point with 10 minutes to go until the start of the FIWC knockout round. Some players decided they needed some last minute practise and hit their respective consoles. ROCKYY on the other hand obviously felt confident. He sat in front of the main screen relaxing and probably preparing mentally.
With $200,000 on the line for the winner, the players have started to feel the heat.
FWIC Knockout Round Results
DETO claimed a 1-0 lead in the Playstation final heading into the final day. A straightforward early goal over his opponent, TIMOX, meant he will sleep just a little bit easier tonight. The format of playing one leg of the division final on one day, followed by the second leg and the grand finals is a bit strange, but lets see how the players and fans react to this format.
Over in the Xbox division GORILLA UNILAD absolutely smashed CODYDERFINISHER with a first leg scoreline of 6(!!)-0. When they met in the group stage they ended up drawing their game 1-1. GORILLA usually starts off slow, as we saw in Madrid and Berlin, but with Dragonn on his side he made sure that his slow start in London didn’t creep into the second day.
Tonight DETO may have to do some homework on his opponent, while it’s safe to say GORILLA UNILAD can start practicing on the PS4 console for tomorrow’s grand final.
FILTHYP94 Gives us his Thoughts
The first goal of the FIWC knockout round went to FILTHYP94 against fellow North American representative AMAN. Today’s games were two legged series with the winner defined by the better aggregate score.
FIFA is often described as a game of momentum so getting that first goal, getting that first win over your opponent puts players in a great spot to move to the next round. These are the best 32 players in the world, however, so you can never count any of them out.
The importance of the growth of FIFA as an Esport in the North American region cannot be underestimated.
“Let’s say I get signed for Toronto FC” FilthyP94 said. “Then there’s kids in London who have never heard of Toronto FC but then they see me playing FIFA for them, and then they might start supporting them. It’s great for the players but it’s also great for the football teams.”
When asked about the gap between Europe and North America he also remarked
“There was probably a gap because of the lack of popularity of football in the region before, but the gap is closing. We’re proving that you can’t underestimate North America, or the American region in general.”
FIWC Knockout Round Games
PS4 Quarter Finals
After the first round of games there were already some surprises. FitlhyP94 won his first leg 1-0 over AMAN. TIMON beat yesterday’s powerhouse ICEPRINSIPE 2-1 and the man from Russia would certainly have be happy with that.
Perhaps against the run of play, TIMOX beat LUCASREP98 1-0, but the run of play isn’t anywhere near as important as goals and winning games. In the final minute of play in the CODYDERFINISHER and DANI game, CODY scored a 90th minute equalizer to put things all level in preparation for the second leg.
As the second round started it seemed that TIMOX had sussed LUCASREP98’s tactics out.
All the players seemed to be dealing with nerves and were all playing relatively safely. Yesterday there were some high score lines but at this point hardly any goals had been scored. AMAN appeared to be losing his focus in the game vs FILTHYP94. TIMOX vs LUCASREP98 finished with the German taking a counter attack from a last-ditch effort by Lucas and blasting it into the bottom left corner to book his place in the semi-finals.
AMAN made a brave attempt to make it into the semis and scored a goal to bring the aggregate to 2-1 but FILTHYP94 held on and was very happy with his result.
ICEPRINSIPE managed to overturn his first leg deficit and moved forwards at the expense of TIMON. CODYDERFINISHER led 6-3 on aggregate at the 80th minute and DANI went out.
FILTHYP94 on his match
“It feels unreal, it’s the unrealest thing right now.” – on beating his fellow North American representative?
“Honestly in these competitions you can’t feel bad. I’m sure he’s happy that I’m representing the region even if he’s disappointed with his result. He’s a great player and huge respect to him. I hope to see him at other events as well.”
How did he prepare for the FIWC knockout round?
“Last night I was watching how he played on stream and videos. I analysed his play, he does the same style as me. I forced him to get out of his comfort zone so he switched up his formation and it didn’t work for him so in the second leg he went back to his comfort zone.”
FILTHYP94 has impressed at this tournament there’s no doubt about that. Many may say that he got lucky, that he was playing weaker opponents. This isn’t true, however, he’s played against some of the best and beaten them. Not only that but his tactics have been incredibly strong. He understands the game very well and sees the ways other players play. If you want to win at any Esport you need to be able to read your opponents and FILTHYP94 has done that successfully to come all the way from an unknown to the FIWC knockout semi-finals.
Xbox Quarter Finals
If the PS4 division lacked goals this one surely didn’t. NICHOLAS99FC took on MO_AUBAMEYANG and NICHOLAS definitely had the number over his opponent, smashing 4 past him. MANIIKA took on DETO in a close run affair with the German DETO holding onto his lead to start the second leg off with some momentum.
GORILLA UNILAD started dominantly against EPSILON JOEY going 4-1 up. However, JOEY had something to say about that and scored 2 to bring it within reaching distance in the second leg.
In the biggest shock so far, JANOZ beat VITALITY ROCKYY after ROCKYY scored first and looked as if he would run away with it.
JANOZ looked absolutely unstoppable against the winner of the Berlin FUT champions event with an unbelievable performance. ROCKYY seemed to let JANOZ under his skin as he scored 3 goals in the first round and 3 more in the second. JANOZ went through comfortably to the semi-finals
EPSILON JOEY’s comeback looked in doubt going into the latter stages of the game, and GORILLA’s experience definitely shone through throughout the game, winning the game 6-4 on aggregate. An impressive attempt by JOEY but GORILLA managed to make it through as the final player for the host nation.
GORILLA UNILAD speaks after the game
“I felt like I dominated the first game which ended 4-3 but I could have easily turned it into 5/6 but I felt sloppy in defence after taking the 4-1 lead. After that I wasn’t as concentrated and I had a lapse in concentration which was my own fault. In the second leg I scored 2 good goals. Overall I felt like I deserved it but my defence wasn’t up to scratch”
Does he think that his defence may come back to bite him?
“There’s been so many tournaments this year, Madrid is the best example where I had both good defence and attack but my defence might cost me. I know I’m capable but I focus too much on attack and my defence is left open a little bit. I’ll try next game to tie my defence up.”
DETO looked dominant against MANIIKA and went through 5-3 on aggregate. An impressive showing from DETO who started off well yesterday but fizzled out a bit towards the end.
MO_AUBAMEYANG continued his unbelievable run of comebacks and last minute winners. He overturned the deficit he suffered to score 4 against the Argentinian.
“Potentially one of the best comebacks we’ve seen in the FIWC” (@Bsmith_Esports).
The game ended with the German scoring 5 goals to 0 and going through to the semi-final.
FIWC Knockout Round Semi-finals
PS4 – ICEPRINSIPE Vs TIMOX
ICEPRINSPE stormed through the groups and was expected to beat TIMOX to progress to the grand final. TIMOX seemed to have his tactics on point and the long through balls brought justice to his play style.
Controller issues have been a repeated story at the FIWC17, and this match was another victim. Although they are often swiftly solved it can cause problems for players mentally.
The break in play can be frustrating and lead to a much needed break for the player who is behind. Fortunately for TIMOX this didn’t materialise and the second part of the two-legged match ended with TIMOX in the lead 4-2.
ICEPRINSIPE had to score 2 goals to bring it level and 3 to pull ahead. The comeback was almost definitely on after scoring 2 goals in the second leg to pull things level. ICEPRINSIPE seemed to take advantages of tactical changes throughout the game.
Partway through the game he changed his tactics then instantly scored a goal, then reverted the changes back to their original settings. This is an interesting part of FIFA and shows that FIFA is more than just a game of skill, it involves tactics as well. This was one of the most back and forth games of the day. ICEPRINSIPE managed to pull ahead 5-4 on aggregate before TIMOX equalised from a corner. The final aggregate finished 5-5 and so it went to a third golden goal game.
TIMOX went through by scoring that important golden goal and the potential for an all German division final was set, unless FILTHYP94 had anything to say about it in his game vs CODYDERFINISHER.
XBOX – CODYDERFINISHER VS FILTHYP94
FITLHYP94 managed to hold on and keep the game all level in the first leg.
If FILTHYP94 could secure his place in the FIWC knockout round Xbox final he would have been incredibly happy. He came here as a relative unknown with his best friend as his coach. Going into the second leg he looked tense whereas CODYDERFINISHER looked calm and collected.
Early in the second leg controversy struck when CODYDERFINISHER made a racy challenge in the box from behind and no penalty was given. The commentators shouted penalty, the fans shouted penalty but the referee waved play on.
That could have been a straight red and FILTHYP94 looked frustrated at that one. This is a part of FIFA which could be considered controversial. There is a part of the game when a player attempts to pass the ball then loses possession and their player automatically lunges. Whether the referee calls a penalty or not is then up to chance. A frustrating part of the game for some professional players but something that EA will definitely be looking into in the future.
This game was another belter, incredibly back and forth. The Canadian and the German traded blows throughout and tied the game up at 3-3 on aggregate towards the end of the second leg. The atmosphere was very tense with both players going forwards as much as they could. The match finally went through to golden goal for the second time in FIWC history.
Both players had early chances but it was the German who came out on top with a good bit of play to slip the ball through to Ronaldo who scored for CODYDERFINISHER. FITLHYP94 looked heartbroken after the game but he can be proud of his performances throughout the tournament and has definitely put Canada on the map in terms of FIFA.
PS4 – DETO Vs MO_AUBAMEYANG
An all German affair was on the menu for this Playstation FIWC knockout round semi-final first leg. MO_AUBAMEYANG has become the comeback king of this tournament and DETO looked comfortable in his game vs Maniika. After the first leg DETO was 3-0 up and looked completely dominant.
In the second leg, MO_AUBEMEYANG started with two goals in the first half and managed to bring the game straight to DETO. A recurring theme of the tournament was surprises from all sides and MO_AUBEMEYANG has surprised many by coming back from large goal deficits to be in with a fighting chance.
Going into the last half, he had to overcome a one goal deficit. Unfortunately for MO, DETO scored another goal to keep his dreams alive in the tournament. DETO showed huge respect to his German friend.
XBOX – GORILLA Vs JANOZ
“He [JANOZ] beat me 3-2 I the groups which was my own fault and went 2-0 ahead early on which was my bad and I’m playing a new formation than when I played him last time, he’s feeling confident but so am I”
The last FIWC knockout round semi-final of the Xbox division took place between Gorilla and Janoz. JANOZ went 2-0 down early on after missing a penalty by chipping the ball directly at Gorilla’s keeper, perhaps a cheeky attempt or a mistake?
Many could say that JANOZ was unlucky in the first leg as he had some great chances but it was Gorilla who came out on top after doing what he does best by scoring 3 goals. Perhaps Gorilla would attribute his strong first leg performance to these tactical changes.
Gorilla certainly seemed to have practised his set pieces. He finished the Columbian off by repeatedly scoring goals and not allowing his poor defence to get the better of him.
Although JANOZ had a good game, Gorilla looked on fire and it will be tough to beat him in this form.
Stay tuned for our player interviews immediately following this FIWC knockout round recap, and all the action from the grand finals tomorrow!