Looking ahead to the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018

We’ve got just under a month to go until 32 competitors from 19 different countries gather in London to compete at this year’s FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018 and battle it out to be crowned the greatest FIFA player of them all.

Judging from the looks of it, it’s set to be an absolute classic. Not only is it taking place in a World Cup year, it also has a returning cast of the greatest players from both the Xbox and PlayStation — it’s time to get excited.

The Esportranks team will, of course, be in London keeping you up to date with all the action and latest news from the players throughout the tournament. 

So, with Fifa eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018 just right around the corner, let’s take a long broad look at the competition, the top contenders, and the biggest stories heading into the event.

Fifa eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018: Who’s Competing?

Fifa eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018

32 players will be competing at the Fifa eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018 in August.

This will be the first year since the tournament was rebranded as the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final. Previously, it was called the FIFA Interactive World Cup. Though the name has changed, much remains the same. Although, we have to admit, we kind of like the spiffier name.

Either way, the name might have changed, but the road to the top remains long and arduous. For many, it starts out on FIFA Ultimate Team and the weekend leagues, which are run online. These hyper-competitive competitions can net you a place at one of the FUT Champions Play-offs held throughout the year, reaching the knockout stages of this competition will net you a place in the Finals.

There are a number of other avenues to lock in a place. This includes the FIFA eClub Cup, held back in May, as well as other regional tournaments held by EA partners and national leagues. 

It can all get a bit confusing in the world of competitive FIFA, but rest assured it’s only the absolute best players who will be making it to London to battle it out for a top prize of $200,000 and an invite to The Best FIFA Football Awards.

Fifa eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018: The Contenders

Fifa eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018

The full list of competitors for FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018.

There’s your players – 32 in all from 19 different countries with the biggest representation being from Germany, who will account for a whopping 8. The Germans will hope to fair a little better than their real-world counterparts who saw their run end early during the group stages. With such a big representation, only a fool would bet against them. 

It is very, however, a fools game to attempt to pick out potential winners when it comes to FIFA tournaments, with the sport being so young and so many kids from all over the world getting more opportunities to showcase their skills it would be no surprise for a player to come out of nowhere and clinch the title. But fool’s we are… so here are some of our one’s to watch this year.

Familiar Faces

FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018

Gorilla returns as champion to this years eWorld Cup.

Two previous winners and a loads more high-level players with bags of experience will grace this year’s tournament with their presence.

Chief among them is reigning champion, Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing, who will return after securing his place at the Amsterdam Play-Offs. A lot has changed for Gorilla since he last won the competition. He has since left UNILAD and will now play under the banner of the legendary Esports team, FaZe Clan.

Will he make the history and be the first FIFA player to defend his title? We don’t know. However, with FaZe putting a lot of effort into the FIFA scene the pressure is most definitely on Gorilla to deliver.

Other returning players include last year’s finalist Kai “Deto” Wallin and 2014’s Champion August “Agge” Rosenmeier.

The Favorite?

FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018

Nicholas99 in Amsterdam where he took home the prize.

Some of the most dominating performances this year have come from Argentina’s Nicolas99FC qualifying in Amsterdam where he was in scintillating form. Conceding just 1.13 goals a game and winning the final 6-2 on aggregate. This means he will be top seed going into the Grand Finals putting himself in a fantastic position to top of his year with the biggest prize of all. Many are calling Nicolas99FC the favorite this year but World Cup’s have a life of their own and with so many strong competitors it’s too close to call.

The Wild Card

One player to look out for this year is Rafsou who plays for Olympique Lyonnais who has had a fantastic year. Giant killing his way to the final of the Xbox heats of the Amsterdam Play-offs, where he eventually lost to Michael ‘Vfl Megabit’ Bittner. But that is taking nothing away from him.  His road to the final was a who’s who of professional FIFA. He not only beat Barcelona FUT Champions Cup winner Donovan ‘F2TeKkz’ Hunt and Msdossary, the winner of the Manchester FUT Champions Cup. In the semi-final, he defeated the world champion himself Gorilla. Not bad for a guy who started playing FIFA in 2014.

Check back with us in the build-up to the tournament where we will profile all the players in time for the tournament.

FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018: The Biggest Storylines

FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018

Kurt0411 in his usual cheery mood

What would any competition be without some juicy drama? And the FIFA eWorld Cup will be no different. It is a potentially volatile mix. You a group of young guys who have been working towards this all year, thousands watching from home, professional pride and massive sums of money on the line. Throw in a game that can send even the most laid back gamer into a frenzy…Frankly were suprised there hasn’t been a string of FIFA eWorld Cup murders.

The big storylines going into this year’s competition arose at the FIFA eClub World Cup which was the setting for two of the games biggest controversies of the year.

Any fan of the sport will be able to recount an occasion that competing football teams have taken it upon themselves to play for a certain result that would be beneficial for both. One famous instance referred to as the “Disgrace of Dijon” featured West Germany and Austria playing out a 1-0 win for the Germans knowing that this result would ensure both teams would go through to the knockout stages of the 1982 World Cup. That particular instance of poor sportsmanship led to a revision of the rules. After which, the last games of a group were played simultaneously.

Final Thoughts

It looks like FIFA could do well to learn their own lessons. At this year’s eClub World Cup in Paris AVFC’s Freitas and S04’s Idealz seemed content to settle for a score draw, both players passing it back and forth in middle with little attempt to push on for a goal. This result ensured both teams would be through to the knockout stage at the expense of Team UNILAD

One player who voiced his displeasure loudest was Kurt Fenech aka Kurt0411. One of the FIFA’s most outspoken players. He stomped around Paris in a seemingly unending bad mood. With complaints aimed at headsets, gameplay and the aforementioned match-fixing. It was to be in the semi-final against Brøndby eSport’s Ustun where he finally lost it and quit out of a rage. The reason? The apparent kickoff goal glitch that makes it extremely hard to defend from kick off something that Ustun exploited just when it looked like Kurt had got himself back in the game.

Kurt had had enough, storming off. After a pause in the match, he eventually calmed down and returned to finish the game. His displeasure was clear though and he has since taken to Twitter to speak out against those in the FIFA community who he sees as ‘yes men’ – those he feels who are unwilling to call out EA Sports on areas of the game that need improvement. He faced a backlash from others with many feeling he had disrespected his opponent with his shenanigans.

Kurt has made it to the eWorld Cup and going by this not very cryptic tweet we think it’s going to be all the better for it.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favourite esports titles!