The penultimate chapter in the story of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2009 was written today, as Frederik Nordmark Laursen grabbed the last available qualification spot for the FIWC09 Grand Final. The 18-year-old from Aarhus was crowned 'Champion of Denmark' after a 3-1 victory over Sebastian Holm from Copenhagen. "I love Barcelona, it is a great city and I cannot wait to represent my country for the first time. I am very proud, indeed," the new Danish Champion exclaimed.
A magical day
The Tivoli Gardens, located in the centre of Copenhagen, exuded a dream-like quality today as hundreds of excited gamers attempted to fulfil their personal FIWC fairy-tales. As the last of nineteen incredible live qualification events that took place across all six continents, the Danish Live qualifier did not disappoint and the EA Sports™ FIFA09 magic was alive and well in Copenhagen.
Along with the usual mix of Danish and Swedish gamers, the 'last-chance' qualifier attracted players from as far as Switzerland and Spain. Joel Torres Sanchez, the defeated finalist at the Spanish event held two weeks ago, made the long trip north to Denmark for one last shot at a Grand Final seat. The Spaniard looked very promising throughout the group stages, but was knocked out in the quarter finals by eventual finalist Sebastian Holm. 18-year-old Joel will have to watch the Grand Final, which is being held in his home town of Barcelona on 2 May, as a fan.
A deafening final
The screams and shouts from roller-coasters and rides scattered around the Tivoli Amusement Park, located within the gardens, were drowned out by the FIWC crowd as the final kicked off. Vocal support for Frederik was led by his brother and cousin who had joined him on the three hour journey to the event. The support seemed to pay-off quickly as Frederik took an early lead.
"I think I have a chance of winning in Barcelona because I will just play my game and enjoy it."
After going into half-time 3-1 in front, Frederik deftly controlled the second-half, and the half-time scoreline stood unblemished at 90 minutes. The new champion was congratulated by professional Danish footballer Bajram Fetai. The FC Nordsjaelland forward was clearly impressed by the skills of the virtual competitors.
Frederik believes that his relaxed approach could be the key to winning the FIWC09 Grand Final. "I just enjoy playing", he said, "I look around today and see so many players losing by worrying too much and taking it so seriously. I think I have a chance of winning in Barcelona because I will just play my game and enjoy it."
The Grand Final beckons
After six months of intense competition, the qualifier phase is complete. The best 32 football gamers in the world are now frantically preparing to face one another at Port Olympic in Barcelona on 2 May, where only one player will be crowned king of FIFA Interactive World Cup 2009.