Today, Javier Munoz won the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2010 Brazilian Live Qualifier Event and became the first Colombian to ever qualify for a FIWC Grand Final.
"I’m delighted to have come to Sao Paulo and win the way I have done. I’m really pleased that my friend and I made the trip and cannot wait to now go to Barcelona in three weeks time," said Javier.
In a surprisingly one-sided final, which took place in front of a packed crowd at the Morumbi Shopping Centre in Sao Paulo, Javier overwhelmed FIWC09 Grand Finalist Andre Buffo by a 6-0 score line. The 18-year-old, who had travelled all the way from Colombia to participate, has earned himself an audience at the FIWC10 Grand Final. At the Grand Final, which will be held in Barcelona on 1 May, 32 of the world’s elite virtual footballers will battle it out for the FIWC10 title.
The Brazil and Australia Live Qualification Events, held this weekend, bring to an end an enthralling seven-month qualification season. With Season 2 of FIWC10 online qualification complete, the Brazil Live Event represented one last chance for South American gamers to qualify for the Grand Final. Gamers descended on Sao Paulo en masse, determined not to miss out on securing one of the 192 competitor spots available at the one-day event.
Queues had already formed by 7am this morning, despite registration only opening at 1pm. Rumours were circulating that Ruben 'The Mexican' Morales Zerecero was, yet again, going to make the 10-hour flight from Mexico City and potentially clutch a third consecutive Brazil Live Event. However, to the relief of many of the players, Ruben was nowhere to be seen, leaving local boy Andre Buffo as the tournament favourite.
The relief over Ruben’s absence was, however, short lived as players quickly discovered a new name to fear. Javier ‘The Colombian’ promptly announced his arrival in his early matches, freely scoring goals full of Latin American flare.
Andre Buffo, who has also been competing in the online qualification season, progressed through the early rounds with ease, but the finale was a completely different matter for Andre, who was on the back foot from the start. Javier’s 6-0 victory means Buffo will now have to wait anxiously to find out whether he has qualified for the Grand Final through Season 2 of FIWC10 online. The Season 2 qualification results are expected to be announced next week.
Liberato checks in
One Brazilian who will be at the Grand Final is Samuel Liberato. Samuel, who has already qualified for the FIWC10 Grand Final through Season 1 of online play, was present throughout the tournament and was eager to see which player would be joining him in Barcelona. Samuel is full of excitement ahead of competing in his second consecutive Grand Final.
“I have been waiting for the Grand Final since qualifying back in December via the online qualifier season one and it is still 3 weeks away! I can’t wait, I am so excited, I can’t sleep!" He said.
"I think I have a good chance of winning the Grand Final this year as I have the experience of last year which will help me because playing on the big stage in front of a big crowd is a lot harder than playing online. There is so much more pressure and you need to remain calm,” Samuel added.
Football skills on show
The football skills on display in Sao Paulo today were not entirely virtual. A number of real football skills competitions took place and those who managed to dazzle spectators walked away with some fantastic prizes. Professional football tricksters added some style to the Brazil Live Event, performing throughout the day and showcasing the kind of silky skills that fans have come to expect from Brazil.