Excitement aplenty as field narrows to four
Xbox No1 'Tekkz' exits at group stage, reigning champion 'MsDossary' marches on
Two-time Premier League winner took in all the drama
Four progress to final day in London
The group stage, Round of 16 and quarter-finals were decided on Day Two of the FIFA eWorld Cup™ – and proceedings in London did not disappoint. Excitement, drama, ecstasy and pain were the common themes on an action-packed Saturday as 28 players exited the competition, while the dream of being the EA SPORTS FIFA 19 World Champion is very much alive for the four who reached the semi-finals: 'MsDossary', 'Rafsou', 'Nicolas99fc' & 'MoAuba'.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka surprised the players with an appearance at Thursday's Welcome Night and watching the action unfold at The O2 in London on Saturday was someone else associated with Manchester United. Dimitar Berbatov, who won two Premier League titles and a FIFA Club World Cup with the Red Devils, took in the drama of the knockouts.
"It’s my first time here, I’ve always wanted to come," Berbatov told FIFA.com. "I’m playing FIFA a lot more at home. In the evening, I play and relax - but sometimes when I get beat, I’m not so relaxed!," he laughed.
“I played FIFA with my club and international team-mates as a player. It was something that brought you closer with your team-mates. Hopefully I can get some tips of how to get better because I’m not as good as these guys here, but I would like to be.
"The arena here is perfect," he continued. "When you see a football pitch, you want to go and play – and it’s similar here, I want to play FIFA because it looks so good. Hopefully I can get a game later on!"
FIFA eWorld Cup: Day Two in pictures
Former professional footballer, Dimitar Berbatov speaks with Nawid Noorzai (GoalMachine) of Canada during Day 2
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Former professional footballer, Dimitar Berbatov speaks with Nawid Noorzai (GoalMachine) of Canada during Day 2 of the FIFA eWorld Cup at the O2 Arena on August 03, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
FIFA eWorld Cup - Day 2
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Fouad Fares (Rafsou) of France celebrates in his quarter-final match against Niklas Raseck (NRaseck) of Germany during Day 2 of the FIFA eWorld Cup at the O2 Arena on August 03, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Luke Walker - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Shock as 'Tekkz' exits at the group stage
One of the tournament’s biggest shocks happened early doors when No1 seed ‘Tekkz’, who amassed the most Global Series points this season and stood top of the ultra-competitive Group A going into the final game, was defeated by Germany’s 'Megabit' and unexpectedly crashed out at the group stage.
Just like Group A, the stakes were incredibly high in Group C with no-one having booked their Round of 16 berth going into the final round of games. PlayStation No1 ‘Nicolas99fc’, who lost his opening three matches on Friday, pulled off a stunning comeback to book his spot in the knockouts on goal difference.
Groups B and D kicked off later in the afternoon with the same ruthless nature. While ‘MsDossary’ predictably topped Group B, carrying his formidable momentum from Friday by finishing the group stage with a perfect record, competition for the other knockout berths was intense with FIFA eNations Cup winner 'DaXe' missing out on goal difference in Group B. The top three in Group D - 'Zezinho', 'Pinna97' and 'RastaArtur' - all boasted an equal points total, illustrating the fine margins of the tournament, while the fourth and final spot went to 'Maestro', who was just one point behind the top three.
Knockouts pack a punch
While 'MsDossary' carried his deadly form into the knockouts, eliminating fellow Xbox titan 'Megabit', various Round of 16 results demonstrated a solid group stage showing does not always guarantee success in the knockouts. Every table-topper apart from the Saudi Arabian exited at the Round of 16.
Xbox Global Series Playoffs winner 'Stokes', who finished top of a stacked Group A, succumbed to a defeat against 'NRaseck', Argentina's 'Nicolas99fc' continued his fine second-day revival and showed why he went into the tournament as the PlayStation No1 by defeating Brazil's 'Zezinho' 7-2 in a mouth-watering South American Clasico, and 'Maestro' saw off 'Tuga810' before busting out a Kylian Mbappe-style celebration.
Meanwhile 'Tass', who only missed out on Group A's top spot on goal difference, was sent packing by 'GoalMachine', last year's eWorld Cup runner-up 'Pinna97' bowed out at the hands of 'MoAuba', and 'Rafsou' got the better of 'Dani' in a high-scoring encounter.
Fab four book semi-final berths
The quarter-finals kicked off with two dominant displays from 'Rafsou' and 'MsDossary', who set up a meeting together in the Xbox console final. France's 'Rafsou', who was present at The O2 for last year's eWorld Cup, put in an impressive performance to defeat 'NRaseck', while last year's champion 'MsDossary' recorded an 8-3 aggregate victory over Rogue team-mate 'GoalMachine'.
On Playstation, 'The Iceman' showed his cool by advancing to the console final after inflicting a heavy defeat on Denmark's 'Ustun' - a stunning achievement considering the Argentinian began the group stage with three losses, and hopes of reaching the knockouts seemed distant. Meanwhile, 'MoAuba' showed why he is a player to be feared by defeating eNations Cup winner 'Maestro' in a tantalising quarter-final match-up.
Each semi-final - which also represents a console final - will be played tomorrow, with the first kicking off at 15:00 local time in front of a crowd at The O2 in London.