With over 2.6 million matches played and almost ten million goals scored, Online Season 1 of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2014 set the bar high for the tenth edition of the world’s largest gaming tournament.

The month-long opening season, which ran from 1 to 31 October, kicked off a six-season long qualification campaign that will culminate in spectacular fashion with a Grand Final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which will be held during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

Returning finalists
Familiar faces reached the summit of the Season 1 main leaderboard. Two-time Grand Finalists Julien Dassonville (2010, 2012) from France and Ty Walton (2011, 2012) from England secured the first available tickets to the 2014 Grand Final. The European pair missed out on qualifying for the 2013 Grand Final but returned with full force in FIWC 2014, wasting no time in securing their places in Brazil. This will be their third Grand Final appearance respectively. The Frenchman and Englishman will also have the added joy of seeing their national teams compete in the World Cup while they simultaneously try to win the virtual world title.

“Since FIFA made the announcement on the Grand Final in Rio, it became my priority for this year,” Julien told FIFA.com. “I am going to be at the World Cup and I will participate in the Grand Final, I can’t believe it!”

Fellow Grand Finalist, Ty Walton was equally ecstatic. “I couldn't imagine a better place for the Grand Final to be held,” said Ty. “It’s every football fans dream to go to the World Cup. It's a one in a lifetime experience. It's the thing I'm looking forward to the most!”

Maximum quality for Community winner
In the maiden Community Qualifier, Englishman David Bytheway claimed top honours. From thousands of Community Qualifier hopefuls, only eight players scored perfect ratios. David’s impressive statistics, however, secured him the tiebreaker.

“I've always wanted to qualify for FIWC but the qualifying systems haven't always suited me,” said David. “The community qualifier was perfect and I took the first opportunity.”

While players were competing feverishly throughout the month, the student from Wolverhampton held firm to the idea of quality over quantity, “I didn't train a lot,” he said, “I just made sure I didn't play too many games a day so that when I did play, I could have maximum concentration.”

With just a few days to go in Season 2 of online qualification, which three players will be joining these Brazil bound finalists? It could be you! Be sure to sign up for the FIWC 2014 and compete in any of the remaining seasons. You could be just a few solid results and spectacular goals from earning a place amongst the best virtual footballers in the world in Brazil.