Rosenmeier paints Brazil Red
© AFP

THE ROUND UP – The tenth edition of the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) made virtual and football history by becoming the first FIWC Grand Final to ever be played at the same time and in the same city as the actual FIFA World Cup™.

Hosting a Grand Final in Rio De Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, brought with it the promise of virtual and real football coming together like never before. That promise was fulfilled over and over again in Rio, as the 20 Grand Finalists experienced some of the cities most iconic locations, competed at one of the countries most historic football grounds and met two of Brazil’s most iconic players, 1994 FIFA World Cup winning captain Dunga and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo, before finishing the trip off with a visit to the fabled Maracana to watch an actual FIFA World Cup match .

The Grand Final experience began on 1 July at the Copacabana where the 20 finalists took to the stage at the FIFA Fan Fest shortly before Argentina’s Round of 16 match against Switzerland. With the FIWC trophy wrapped in his arm, 2013 champion Bruce Grannec addressed the thousands of fans on the beach. But just a few days later, it would be newly crowned champion August Rosenmeier that would be enjoying the limelight as he saw highlights of his FIWC 2014 victory displayed on the giant stadium screens at the Maracana shortly before kick off for the France-Germany Quarterfinal.

Just like Brazil 2014, the Grand Final was full of twists and turns as the world’s best EA SPORTS™ FIFA 14 players tried to navigate their way to the world title. The tournament was concentrated to two days of gameplay. By the end of Day 1, the pack was already down to just four names. Grand Final veterans Bruce Grannec, Krasimir Ivanov, Julien Dassonville, Krasimir Ivanov, Michael Ribeiro and Ty Walton all failed to pass the group stage, leaving the quarterfinal stage to be dominated by newcomers to the tournament.

Knockout rounds stun and surprise
Rosenmeier was the first to secure a semi-final birth, with a solid 3-0 win over Dutchman Alban Xhemajli. Brazil champion Rafael Fortes, the only player to survive the group stage without losing a match, came undone, losing 1-5 to Jorrick Boshove in his quarterfinal. The final two members of the large French contingent in Brazil fell at the quarterfinal stage at the hands of Steven van de Vorst and David Bytheway.

Surprisingly, of the four semi-finalists only Rosenmeier had been to a previous Grand Final. Experience has clearly served the Dane well. Out in the group stage of Dubai 2012, then a quarterfinal exit at Madrid 2013, August was determined to suffer no further FIWC heartbreak in Brazil. At the final showdown on day two of the tournament, he quickly saw off Steven van de Vorst with a 2-0 win. Meanwhile, David Bytheway beat Jorrick Boshove 1-0 to put him in the final.

The final
Shortly before the gold medal match, football icon Ronaldo took to the stage to address the crowd and shake the two finalists hands, “Of course they are ready to play,” Ronaldo told the crowd, “They are so excited to play this final.”

Under the watchful gaze of three-time world player of the year, the final match began as a tense, tough affair. Rosenmeier held his nerve, and took control of the match as time progressed, eventually earning a 3-1 win to give him the world title, USD 20,000 in prize money and a trip to the next FIFA Ballon d’Or.

“Obviously there's some disappointment coming so far and losing” Bytheway told FIFA.com, “but it was my first tournament and is an experience I can learn from. I will try and follow in August's footsteps and use each year to build up more experience and hopefully go on to win it in the future.”

Rosenmeier was all smiles when he received the award. When asked what he would do with the money, the 18-year old was quick to prioritize: “Dinner with my girlfriend and I’ll save most of it, but I have a passions for sneakers,” said the new world champion.

FIFA Interactive World Cup 2014 – Grand Final, Rio De Janeiro

Participants
August Rosenmeier (DEN), Ty Walton (ENG), Michael Ribeiro (USA), Jorrick Boshove (NED), Tihomir Kolev (BUL), Bruce Grannec (FRA), Alban Xhemajli (Netherlands), Anders Bollerup (DEN), Marian Avram (ROU), Rafael Fortes (BRA), Krasimir Ivanov (BUL), Adam Johnston (IRL), Steven van de Vorst (NED), Johann Simon (FRA), Adrien Viaud (FRA), Ovidiu Patrascu (ROU), David Bytheway (ENG), Farid Diffallah (FRA), Irving Velazquez (MEX), Julien Dassonville (FRA)

Standings
1. August Rosenmeier (DEN)
2. David Bytheway (ENG)
3. Steven van de Vorst (NED)

Grand Final locations
Presentation of finalists – FIFA Fan Fest Copacabana
Tournament Draw – Hotel Pestana
Day 1 - Estadio das Laranjeiras (Fluminense FC)
Final showdown - Sugarloaf Mountain

ALL MATCH RESULTS

Group A
[Game 1]: August Rosenmeier 1-1 Ty Walton
[Game 2]: Michael Ribeiro 1-1 Jorrick Boshove
[Game 9]: August Rosenmeier 1-0 Michael Ribeiro
[Game 10]: Jorrick Boshove 0-0 Tihomir Kolev
[Game 17]: Jorrick Boshove 1-1 August Rosenmeier
[Game 18]: Ty Walton 0-0 Tihomir Kolev
[Game 25]: Tihomir Kolev 0-1 August Rosenmeier
[Game 26]: Michael Ribeiro 1-1 Ty Walton
[Game 33]: Tihomir Kolev 1-1 Michael Ribeiro
[Game 34]: Ty Walton 0-0 Jorrick Boshove

Group B
[Game 3]: Bruce Grannec 1-3 Alban Xhemajli
[Game 4]: Anders Bollerup 0-2 Marian Avram
[Game 11]: Bruce Grannec 1-1 Anders Bollerup
[Game 12]: Marian Avram 0-2 Rafael Fortes
[Game 19]: Marian Avram 0-0 Bruce Grannec
[Game 20]: Alban Xhemajli 0-1 Rafael Fortes
[Game 27]: Rafael Fortes 1-0 Bruce Grannec
[Game 28]: Anders Bollerup 0-2 Alban Xhemajli
[Game 35]: Rafael Fortes 3-1 Anders Bollerup
[Game 36]: Alban Xhemajli 2-2 Marian Avram

Group C
[Game 5]: Krasimir Ivanov 1-2 Adam Johnston
[Game 6]: Steven van de Vorst 1-0 Johann Simon
[Game 13]: Krasimir Ivanov 1-1 Steven van de Vorst
[Game 14]: Johann Simon 1-0 Adrien Viaud
[Game 21]: Johann Simon 0-0 Krasimir Ivanov
[Game 22]: Adam Johnston 1-2 Adrien Viaud
[Game 29]: Adrien Viaud 1-0 Krasimir Ivanov
[Game 30]: Steven van de Vorst 0-0 Adam Johnston
[Game 37]: Adrien Viaud 0-1 Steven van de Vorst
[Game 38]: Adam Johnston 0-0 Johann Simon

Group D
[Game 7]: Ovidiu Patrascu 1-2 David Bytheway
[Game 8]: Farid Diffallah 1-0 Irving Velazquez
[Game 15]: Ovidiu Patrascu 1-0 Farid Diffallah
[Game 16]: Irving Velazquez 0-1 Julien Dassonville
[Game 23]: Irving Velazquez 0-1 Ovidiu Patrascu
[Game 24]: David Bytheway 1-0 Julien Dassonville
[Game 31]: Julien Dassonville 0-0 Ovidiu Patrascu
[Game 32]: Farid Diffallah 1-1 David Bytheway
[Game 39]: Julien Dassonville 0-3 Farid Diffallah
[Game 40]: David Bytheway 2-1 Irving Velazquez

Quarterfinals
[Game 41]: August Rosenmeier 3-0 Alban Xhemajli
[Game 42]: Rafael Fortes 1-5 Jorrick Boshove
[Game 43]: Steven van de Vorst 2-1 Farid Diffallah
[Game 44]: David Bytheway 1-0 Adrien Viaud

Semi-finals
[Game 45]: August Rosenmeier 2-0 Steven van de Vorst
[Game 46]: Jorrick Boshove 0-1 David Bytheway

Third-place match
[Game 47]: Steven van de Vorst 2-1 Jorrick Boshove

Final
[Game 48]: August Rosenmeier 3-1 David Bytheway