• Only two of the FICWC's 19 finalists are non-European
  • River Plate is the first Latin American club to have an eSports division
  • FranoPlay: "Nowadays, it's easy to 'spy' on your rivals"

Of the 19 finalists in the first edition of the FIFA Interactive Club World Cup (FICWC), 17 are European, with only New York City and River Plate from outside the Old Continent. With that in mind, we spoke to Franco Colagrossi, who will be flying the flag for the Argentinian giants at the final in London on Saturday 5 August. You can follow him and his fellow finalists on FIFA.com, where the event will be live streamed in its entirety.

“I’m immensely proud as I’ll be representing the club closest to my heart, my country and Latin America. I’m very enthusiastic too as eSports is not that developed in Latin America, so my participation could motivate other clubs to come onboard,” said the 26-year-old gamer.

@FranoPlay in profile

  • He trains five hours a day
  • He admires the playing styles of AHugeGorilla, Hashtag_Tass and Prinsipe
  • His other hobby is playing traditional football with his friends
  • Leonardo Ponzio is his favourite River Plate player

“I dedicate two hours a day to the theoretical side of things (studying other gamers and the different ways to play, improving my tactical skills, analysing dead-ball situations, etc), then I follow that with three hours of play, which is when I put all the theory into practice,” he explained. “Sometimes the key to improving is not the number of hours played, but rather your level of concentration during game time. After all, the brain often gets tired. On weekends, I normally put in more hours actually playing.”

With this being his first time in London, the Argentinian is keen to see the stadiums of Arsenal and Chelsea. Most of all, however, he would like to leave the English capital with the title of inaugural FICWC champion, which is why he has been training particularly hard in recent days.

“Since I qualified, I’ve been doing some detailed research on my opponents to study their tactics, playing styles and the moves they prepare. Nowadays it’s very easy to ‘spy’ on a rival, as there’s such much content available across different platforms,” he admitted.

In October 2016, River Plate became the first Latin American club to create an eSports division, duly contracting FranoPlay as their professional to officially represent them at tournaments.  

“It’s been a year of adapting and creating very important projects, which will take shape next year. Participating at the inaugural Interactive Club World Cup is the icing on the cake for the first phase of things.”

Advice for those seeking to follow in his footsteps
“Try to improve every day and not get used to playing in a monotonous fashion. Also do your research, watch the very best and try to understand the play and movements. Above all, though, never give up.”