Spotlight on Alshehri in Australia
A week after the action in Paris, Sydney is all set to host the second FUT Champions regional final. Up for grabs Down Under are two tickets to the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Final in Berlin, the last stop before the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017 Grand Final in London.
A total of 32 gamers are preparing to pit their wits against one another in Australia, where Abdulaziz "A8drAfwz" Alshehri is sure to be one of the main attractions. An FIWC quarter-finalist in Dubai in 2012 and a semi-finalist in Madrid in 2013, the Saudi Arabian was crowned the world champion in 2015 in Munich. This triumph earned him an invitation from FIFA to join the world's biggest football stars in Zurich in January 2016, when he was presented with his FIWC champion certificate by Cristiano Ronaldo and got to showcase his skills with a controller in his hand against the likes of Kaka, Carli Lloyd and Celia Sasic.
The desire for more moments like these will naturally give Alshehri special motivation to taste glory in Berlin and then London, and the Saudi Arabian will be looking to draw on all of his experience in order to come out on top again. After all, besides his FIWC exploits, the 25-year-old is a four-time Saudi champion, three-time Middle Eastern champion and one-time Asian champion.
The seasoned campaigner will therefore be confident of once again making his qualities count when he competes in the PlayStation 4 Division in Sydney, although he knows that keeping his focus will be key. As he recently told EA SPORTS, "People have different styles, but it's about how you prepare yourself mentally to help you apply your playing style in the game. People sometimes find it hard to play their usual style because of a lack of concentration."
Indeed, as we saw in last week's regional final in Paris, where there were early exits for several stars including 2014 FIWC champion August "Agge" Rosenmeier, the competition is only getting fiercer, meaning it is anyone's guess what will happen this time round.
Of the 32 gamers present in Sydney, half will play on the PlayStation 4 and the other half will do so on the Xbox One, after which the winners of each division will face off in a two-legged final. Interestingly, the ones to watch Down Under include another Saudi, Alshehri's compatriot Khalid "xX ThE RoYaL Xx" Aloufi, who qualified for the FIWC 2016 Grand Final in New York and will be intent on advancing from the Xbox Division.
Who will make it to Berlin? To find out, follow the regional final in Sydney via this link. The action will get underway this Saturday 11 February at 9.00 local time.