Bulgarian gamer Krasimir Ivanov achieved what many FIWC gamers dream of in his maiden season of the FIFA Interactive World Cup. Ivanov claimed his seat at the 2012 Grand Final, which will be held in Dubai from 21-23 May, by winning the fourth online qualification season. We spoke to the Bulgarian about his FIWC experience so far.

FIFA.com: How did you find out about FIWC?
Krasimir Ivanov:
Every year I watch videos of the FIWC finals and read news about the FIWC on FIFA.com. I couldn’t join the event until now because I had been playing the EA SPORTS™ FIFA series on my PC. Now that I have a PlayStation®3 I’m so happy that I have been able to participate in online qualification for FIWC this year!

So this year is your first time competing in the FIFA Interactive World Cup?
Yes! This is the first time and I’ve already made it to the Grand Final. It’s amazing!

Your first FIWC tournament and you’ve already qualified for the Grand Final. Nice work!
Did you also compete in the first three online seasons?
Thank you very much. I competed in the third online season and saw how things went. Season 3 helped me to gain experience with FIWC tactics and the scoring system, that’s why I was successful this season.

How long have you been playing the EA SPORTS™ FIFA series?
Since 2002 and I’ve been participating in competitions since FIFA 08, but only on my PC.

What expectations did you have when you started playing in the online seasons?
When I started with the FIWC, I just played for fun because I planned to qualify through live events. But then I began playing against most of the top twenty. I realised that I was at the same level and that there might be a chance to qualify if I practiced hard and concentrated. So I was quite confident that I would make it happen in Online Season 4.

Have you been to a FIWC live qualification yet?
No, because here in Bulgaria there is no live qualifier and that would have meant too much travelling for me because most of the qualifications have a pre-qualifier. That motivated me to do it online.

You mentioned that you have played in some virtual football tournaments on your PC. Have you experienced face-to-face competition?
Yes! I’ve finished in fifth place twice at the World Cyber Games, second place at the European Championship and first place in the European National Cup. All of them were live events and now my biggest challenge will be at the FIWC Grand Final. I have enough experience with face-to-face competition and can handle the pressure.

The FIWC12 champion gets USD 20,000 in prize money and a trip to the FIFA Ballon d'Or. What would you do with the cash prize?
Well at the moment I really don't know what I would spend the money on. I don't like to think about things before they’re done.

Given the chance, who would you like to most meet at the FIFA Ballon d'Or?
I would love to meet Ronaldo and Messi. That would be an amazing adventure.

Want to test your skills against top gamers like Krasimir? There is still one online season to be decided and a number of live qualification events to go. Register now and join the world’s largest virtual football tournament!