We don’t have to wait long for the first major FIFA esport tournament with the initial FUT Champions Cup set to take place in November. The online qualifiers for the FIFA 19 tournament concluded this week following a change to the controversial format which originally had players face each other in one-off bouts which had the uncertainties of online play such as lag.
Now the dust has settled, we know the final 64 participants who will battle it out to claim an early top spot in the leaderboards - taking a giant first step on the road towards the eWorld Cup.
Speaking of the game’s biggest competition, it speaks volumes of how tough these online qualifiers were as reigning world champion Mosaad ‘MsDossarry’ Aldossary appears to have missed out on qualification.
Meanwhile, his predecessor, FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017 champion, Spencer ’Gorilla’ Ealing’ had no problem qualifying for the November event. Currently the biggest free agent available on the market, this performance will definitely help his bargaining position as he looks for a new team.
Both of his former coaches have also qualified for the event. FaZe’s Tassal ‘Tass’ Rushan will be looking to rediscover the top form from his Hashtag United days while Sean ‘Dragon’ Allen, who helped Gorilla’s championship run, will hope he garners some attention while he also looks for a team.
One other free agent who has qualified is Sam ‘Poacher’ Carmody who was released by Fnatic following a difficult year. He has already used qualification as a reminder to others that he is on the market - a good performance in November could result in him swimming in offers.
For now though, he is playing catch up to good friend Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt. The young player who represents the F2 Freestylers is flying at the moment having finished every Weekend League in the top three so far. His dominant form has continued as he was the only player to go 8-0 in the qualifiers but he isn’t getting carried away just yet, admitting: “It’s been a good start to the year but it all means nothing, need to perform at the major events.”
It could be difficult for Tekkz to maintain that form as big names such as August ‘Agge’ Rosenmeier and Nicholas ‘Nicholas99fc’ Willalba have also qualified.
Elsewhere, West Ham’s Jamie ‘Jamboo’ Rigden has qualified and is desperate to prove himself in FIFA 19, saying: “Words don’t really describe how I’m feeling, I MADE IT. Against all odds, team disadvantage, other pros writing me off to each other. Can not wait to compete at the first FUT Champions Cup, hard work pays off.”
With such a strong contingent of players, the first FIFA 19 FUT Champions Cup promises to be an exciting one.