• 32 Grand Finalists drawn into four groups
  • Leigh Smith weighs in on groups of death
  • Grand Final draw held at Sky Studios 

On 5 August, the last two names were added to the list of 32 Grand Finalists for FIWC 2017 after the conclusion of the first ever FIFA Interactive Club World Cup.

Shortly after the final match of the first ever edition of the Interactive Club World Cup there was one more important piece of business to get down to ahead of the Grand Final which takes place in London from 16 to 18 August. Namely, the unveiling of the group compositions for the Grand Final.

Players in attendance watched excitedly as hosts Leigh Smith, Spencer Owen and Laura Woods conducted the official draw for the 13th edition of the world’s largest football gaming tournament.

The Grand Final will have four groups of eight players. Four players from each group will qualify for the knockout phase of the world’s largest football gaming tournament.

“This is going to be the cream of the drop this year” said Leigh Smith reflecting on the names of the 32 players that were drawn into 4 groups.

"PlayStation Group 1 is a really stacked group,” Leigh told FIFA.com. “Four get through but I’d argue there’s six players in there that should go through if they were in another group. Then you look at Group 2 on Xbox and it's also stacked. You’ve got the FUT champion in there. Overall these two are the massive groups.”

Smith, who will attend the Grand Final, believes this year’s qualification format has led to an increase in competitiveness and quality.

“These players have had to go through a gruelling qualification process this year,” he said. "The fact that don’t have any former FIWC champions in there could be a sign of things to come. I think we are going to see the best of the best this year."