Over the course of the weekend, 32 of the best FIFA 19 players in the world will be present at the O2 Arena in London to take part in the FIFA eWorld Cup.
It is a tournament that has run since it was first held in 2004 in Zurich, when Brazilian Thiago Carrico de Azevedo picked up the inaugural prize by defeating Matija Biljeskovic 2-1 in the final.
While the prize money on offer may be a mere fraction of the $5 million scooped by Kyle Giersdorf in New York last week as he was crowned Fortnite World Cup winner, the FIFA champion will still claim a top prize of $250,000 and win a trip to The Best FIFA Football Awards.
EA, the publisher of the popular football game, reported that they had 45 million unique console and PC users across the company’s fiscal year of 2019, meaning that competition to come out is fierce.
Indeed, since FIFA 2019 was released in September 2018, the world’s best players have all been focussed on reaching this juncture, with competitions across the year awarding FIFA Global Series points.
Those at the top of the leaderboard have been invited to play in the eWorld Cup for the chance to be crowned the best FIFA player in the world.
What is the format of the FIFA eWorld Cup?
Firstly, the players will play FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT).
The players are then split on the basis of which console they prefer to play on: Xbox One or PS4.
There are 16 players on each system and from there, they will be split into equal groups of eight. This means that there are two pools of Xbox One players – A and B – and two pools of PS4 players – C and D.
Just as in a traditional football tournament, the top four from each group will qualify to the knockout stages. In these elimination games, players will continue to face off against opponents on their favoured console until there is just one Xbox One player and one PS4 player remaining.
The final showdown will take place in the form of a two-legged clash across both platforms on Sunday evening.
Who are the favourites to win the FIFA eWorld Cup?
Mosaad ‘Msdossary’ Aldossary, who plays Xbox One, is the defending champion and is seeking to become the first player to win the eWorld Cup title in successive years. Hailing from Saudi Arabia, he has already scooped the national title and is considered by many to be the favourite to win the event again this year, which would give him a strong claim to being the greatest FIFA player ever.
Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt is expected to provide the main competition on the Xbox One side of the draw. He comes into the competition having won more Global Series points and seven titles this season – more than any other player. Additionally, he won the ePremier League with Liverpool and has been backed to succeed this season after heartbreak in the knockout rounds last year.
On the PS4 side of the draw, 19-year-old Argentine Nicolas ‘Nicolas99FC’ Villalba is the player to beat. He finished the FIFA 19 Global Series Playoffs on top of the PS4 ranking, while he also lifted the eClub World Cup. His nickname is ‘Iceman’ due to his apparent coolness at all times.
The second seed on the PS4 is Corentin ‘Maestro’ Thuillier, who has become known for his Kylian Mbappe-style celebration. He was part of the team that won the first FIFA eNations Cup and helped Dijon to win e-Ligue 1.
What is the prize money for the FIFA eWorld Cup?
While the winner of the tournament will scoop $250,000, there are excellent rewards for all participants who finish in the top eight of the event. The total fund for the tournament is $500,000, meaning the winner will claim exactly half.
Second place will take $100,000, while the players who finish third and fourth will each take $25,000.
Those players knocked out at the semi-final stages of each console's respective conference, therefore taking a place in the top eight, will earn $12,000.
How to watch the FIFA eWorld Cup
The FIFA eWorld Cup is easy to watch, with the tournament available for streaming in six different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, German, Portuguese and Spanish.
Additionally, it can be watched on television in the UK on Sky Sports, while NBCU and Telemundo are broadcasting it in the USA.
Play is expected to last from 10:00-20:30 BST on Friday, while Saturday’s action is scheduled to run from 11:00-19:30 BST.
Sunday’s finals day is shorter, running from 14:00-19:00 BST, with the final slated to kick-off at 17:30 BST.