Your essential guide to the FIWC
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From 6 to 8 May, 21 of the world’s best EA SPORTS™ FIFA 13 gamers will gather in Madrid for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2013 Grand Final. At the Grand Final this elite group of finalists will play one another at EA SPORTS™ FIFA 13 on the Sony PlayStation®3 in the hopes of being crowned the next interactive world champion. Do you think you have what it takes to challenge for the title of the world's finest FIFA 13 player?

What is the FIWC?
The FIFA Interactive World Cup is an official FIFA tournament that recognizes the virtual football talents of gamers playing the EA SPORTS™ FIFA series on the PlayStation®3. Every year, registered players compete online and at special events in the hopes of qualifying for the Grand Final where they will ultimately battle for the world crown, just like national teams in the FIFA World Cup™. Since the 2010 edition the annual tournament has been officially recognized as the largest gaming tournament in the world by the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition.

How do the players qualify for the Grand Final?
Each Grand Finalist has proved their pedigree by qualifying for the FIFA Interactive World Cup through an online qualification season or via a special live event. Much like FIFA World Cups of old, the defending champion receives automatic qualification for the Grand Final. In FIWC13 an updated qualification format was introduced. The top two players on the FIWC overall leaderboard for each of the six online qualification seasons received seats at the Grand Final. Joining Ramos and the online qualifiers in Madrid are winners of the FIWC invitational events, known as Territory Showdowns. These showdowns were held in France, England, Spain and Germany and pitted some of the top national online players against defending national champions. 
 
When did the FIWC begin?
FIWC13 is the ninth edition of the FIFA Interactive World cup. The inaugural Grand Final took place at the home of FIFA in 2004. That year Thiago Carrico de Azevedo from Rio de Janeiro claimed the title for Brazil. Since Thiago’s victory the FIWC has been won by players from England, Netherlands, Spain, France, USA and Portugal.

In 2012 Alfonso Ramos made FIWC history by becoming the first ever FIWC player to win the title twice (2008, 2012). FIWC13 will give Ramos the chance to try and claim an unprecedented third world title.

What can I win?
The winner of the FIWC Grand Final receives the FIFA Interactive World Cup trophy, a cheque for USD20,000 and a trip for two to the next FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala held in Zurich Switzerland. In Zurich the virtual world champion is presented an award at a special press conference before walking down the red carpet, shaking hands with his favourite footballers and watching the FIFA Ballon d‘Or Gala live.  

Where can I watch the FIWC Grand Final?
The Territory Showdowns and Grand Final for the FIFA Interactive World Cup are streamed live on FIFA.com/FIWC. During the Live Stream you can enjoy expert commentary from celebrity guests and top class virtual football from some of the best players in the world, such as Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and Sergio Canales of Valencia. You can also keep track of all the action at the events via our YouTube channel.

How do I join the FIWC?
To compete in the FIWC you need a Sony PlayStation® 3, the latest release of the EA SPORTS™ FIFA series and an Internet connection. Next you will need to register for the FIWC on the PlayStation® Network. Visit the How To Play section on FIFA.com/FIWC for more details. 

How can I stay up to date on all the latest FIWC news?
Like the official FIWC Facebook page and follow the FIWC on Twitter for all the latest news and information. Subscribe to the FIWC playlist on FIFA’s official YouTube channel to watch all the latest FIWC videos and be sure to visit FIFA.com/FIWC regularly for exclusive features, online leaderboards, photos and announcements.