We are happy to officially announce the two winners for Online Qualification Season 1 of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2012 (FIWC12). The first two gamers to earn a seat alongside Francisco Cruz at the Grand Final are iSaywheniTsOver from Saudi Arabia and ibra_12 from Colombia. We sat down with ibra_12 to discuss his recent qualification, what it's like to qualify so early and what his plans are for claiming the crown.
FIFA.com: First of all, congratulations on your success! Did you expect to qualify for the Grand Final when you embarked on Season 1?
ibra_12: I expected it to be very tough, even with putting all of my effort and skills into it. I knew that I needed to give my best in order to have a shot. It's like a dream come true. Thousands of people were playing and I ended in second place, that’s just unbelievable!
FIFA.com: Did you face fellow Season 1 qualifier iSAYwheniTsOVER at all in Online Season 1?
Unfortunately not. I guess we didn't play against one other because of the time difference with him being from Saudi Arabia and me from Colombia. This is also something that fascinates me about the FIWC, that it’s a truly global tournament!
Was this your first attempt at qualifying for a FIWC Grand Final?
I started playing the FIFA series when EA SPORTS™ FIFA10 came out. Last year I took part in the FIWC for the first time, but more to become comfortable with tactics and strategy. So this year was the first time that I tried really hard to qualify!
So you are a newcomer to the FIWC, which makes your qualification an even greater achievement! How did you feel when you first realized you had qualified for the Grand Final?
It was one of my happiest moments ever! At first I couldn't believe that I had made it and that my dream had come true.
As one of the first players to qualify you’ll have a lot of time to prepare for the FIWC12 Grand Final. How do you plan to train?
I'm only going to play against the top players and those that have qualified for the Grand Final. I think playing against the best brings your skills to a higher level.
As mentioned earlier, this will be your first Grand Final. How do you expect to do?
Of course I will try my best and I think that I have a chance to win the tournament. My biggest advantage is that I have a different style of playing to most players. I focus on the offense and also have a team setup that is unusual.
You sound quite confident. Should you win the Grand Final, you would be invited to the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala. Who would you most like to meet there?
I’m a big fan of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as you can tell by the name I chose [ibra_12]. I also like Cristiano Ronaldo very much. They both are spectacular players. I think what makes them special is their confidence; it's helped them to get to where they are now.