March madness hits FIWC10
© FIFA.com

With Season 2 of online qualification for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2010 (FIWC10) ending on 31 March 2010, the Grand Final hopefuls have a tough few weeks ahead of them.

An unbelievable number of 676,540 gamers are currently battling it out on the PlayStation®Network as they aim to book a place at FIWC10 Grand Final which will be held in Barcelona on 1 May.

On top of all the online FIFA10 action, FIWC Live Qualification Events are in full swing in the coming weeks with eight events taking place between 6 March and 11 April. This coming weekend (13 and 14 March), EA SPORTS™ FIFA10 fans will gather in Denmark and France, before FIWC10 heads to Italy and Japan the following weekend. On 22 March FIWC heads for The Emirates Stadium in London, England. Finally the Australia and Brazil Live Qualification Events in early April usher in the close of qualification for FIWC10.

So what’s been happening in online qualification and who are the 11 available online spots going to? FIFA.com reflects on the past month of online qualification for Season 2.

Chasing pack in Asia
After finishing fifth in Week 5, figoskillz2010 has clutched pole position in Asia for weeks’ 6-8 and the Australian has been placed at the global summit for his efforts. Behind him in Asian qualifying, eight names are clambering over one another in an attempt to claim the one available seat. Mourinho-Jeddah is hot on the leaders tail. The Saudi Arabian, who occupies second place on the overall leaderboard, is only 46-points off the pace and is pushing hard to topple the global leader. FIWC-Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan), l-AiR-JoRdaN-l (Australia) and always_winner (Lebanon) are also proving to be big threats to the AFC leader.

England invades
Last month’s French hotshots have fallen on hard times of late and have been replaced by a fearsome English contingent. freestyle-man80 has managed to hang on despite the changes. He sits in third place in Week 8, packed tightly behind English duo CLASSICrunsFIFA and Titian_noses. The pair of top ten gamers turned up the heat in weeks’ 5 to 8 and are now perched at the top in Europe. FIWC_Adam, who didn’t even feature in the top UEFA 100 in Week 5, has flown up the rankings at warp speed in the past few weeks. As of Week 8, the Englishman currently holds the fourth and final qualification place for Europe.

The all Americans
There are three seats for the taking in CONCACAF, and American gamers have temporarily claimed every one of them. FIWC-CLASS has surprised everyone; he has clawed his way from 6th place in Week 5 to the top spot in Week 8. LeGaCyIO and cmachado11 round off the top three. Canadian DrFIFA deserves an honourable mention. He broke the Mexican-USA hold on the top ten in Week 5 and currently sits in sixth place, well within reach of the gamers above him.

African kings
If he keeps up the good work iLOSEeveryTiME may have to consider changing his name! The Egyptian has perched himself at the summit of Africa’s Ranking from weeks’ 3 to 8. Fellow Egyptians’ FightingGrinta92 and DROGBA-55 are refusing to make it easy on the current CAF No1 and the challengers look set to battle to the bitter end. Sudan’s shiddo is also looking dangerous. Having maintained a top three finish in CAF for Week’s five through 8, the Sudanese could very well clinch it at the last minute.

Samba in style
From the moments MybaLLsrgood climbed into second place, the Brazilian has been battling it out with CONMEBOL leader chelipop for the only available seat. In Week 8, the Brazilian finally assumed control, pushing the Chilean into second place. The two South American kings are over 600 points ahead of the pack and it seems the one available qualification seat may very well go to either one of the pair.