THE DAY REPLAYED – It started at Fluminense, it ended at the Sugarloaf. After a very close round of semi-final matches the gold medal match between August Rosenmeier and David Bytheway decided the new FIWC champion. Our new FIWC champion is August Rosenmeier from Denmark!

The setting
From the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, with the blue waters of the Atlantic shimmering below, you could see boats and yachts carve thick lines through water. On the horizon, Christ the Redeemer towered over the city. On any other day this postcard image would be the highlight of a tourist’s day in Rio De Janeiro, but today, for the four potential world champions staring at the view in awe, it was so much more. This was the setting for the final showdown of the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final, where a new world champion was crowned for the world's largest gaming tournament.

The biggest surprise
The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ has seen former world champions like Italy, England and Spain knocked out by underdogs that have surpassed all expectations in Brazil. Mirroring the World Cup, and in a dramatic break from recent editions of the Grand Final, three of the semi-finalists for the FIWC 2014 Grand Final had no previous Grand Final experience. Even more surprising was that two of the semi-finalists qualified through the community qualifier, a new system implemented for FIWC 2014 that rewarded the quality of games over the quantity played in an online season. “The Community Qualifier system was very important for me, it was the only way for me to come here, because I just didn’t have the time to play more games. It worked out really well for me“ said Van de Vorst. 

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day though was special guest Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima. O Fenômeno watched as the next virtual world champion was decided. It was a surreal moment for all the fans in attendance, as one of the greatest footballers to play the beautiful game stood on the same stage, shaking hands and presenting the trophy to the world's best virtual footballer for 2014.  

"I think it's great to see this beautiful tournament here during the World Cup," O Fenômeno said on stage. "A real final is maybe more difficult, maybe here it's a little easier," Ronaldo said teasing the virtual football loving audience.

Match highlights
Steven van de Vorst had employed Portugal to great effect throughout the tournament, but cool and experienced  August Rosenmeier proved to much for the Dutchman. In the second semi-final, David Bytheway attacked relentlessly using Neymar's pace to great effect on the wings, but Jorrick Boshove showed why Germany is such an impressive team choice in EA SPORTS FIFA World Cup 2014™. The match for third place between countryman Steven van de Vorst and Jorrick Boshove was incredibly tight, ending goaless after regulation time. In extra-time the tempo increased dramatically with three goals in the second part of extra-time. 

The final
Brazil-Germany was the menu for the final. David Bytheway drew first blood with his Germany team but Rosenmeier managed to draw level before half-time. The second-half belonged to the Dane. First a hard header from a corner secured the 2-1 lead. Then, with 70 minutes played, Neymar received the ball just past the halfway-line and cut straight through the defence with his speed and skill before hitting a low shot to Manuel Neuer's right. Neuer had been an ever-saving presence in the match, but the sensational solo-run was always going to finish in a flourish. 

Semi-final results
August Rosenmeier 2-0 Steven van de Vorst
Jorrick Boshove  0-1 David Bytheway 

3rd place match result
Steven van de Vorst 2-1 (aet) Jorrick Boshove

Final result
August Rosenmeier  3-1 David Bytheway