Three through, UNILAD and PSG in trouble

  • FIFA eClub World Cup got underway on Saturday

  • Team Envy, FC Basel 1893 and Hashtag Academy through to quarter-finals

  • Tough day for UNILAD and PSG eSports​

The top EA SPORTS FIFA teams are in Paris for the FIFA eClub World Cup this weekend and the first five rounds of matches in Groups A and B were played on Saturday. Team Envy, FC Basel 1983 and Hashtag Academy have already booked their spots in the quarter-finals, while UNILAD and PSG both have it all to do.

The 16 teams will be back in action on Sunday, when the final two sets of group-stage fixtures will be contested followed by the knockout stage. Four tickets to the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs are up for grabs.

Reminder: Each team consists of one player per console (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), who face their respective counterparts in individual games. The aggregate score from these encounters determines the winners of each match.

Group A: UNILAD unimpressive, Hashtag cruise With big names in the shape of 'Gorilla' (Xbox) and 'SHELLZZ' (PS4) in their line-up, UNILAD went into the competition tipped as one of the favourites. However, the English duo were in for a rude awakening, losing twice and drawing the other of their opening three matches. Although they bounced back to claim their first victory in their fourth encounter, they signed off by being held to another draw. It was a day to forget for world champion 'Gorilla', who is usually renowned for his firepower.

By contrast, with five wins in as many matches, 'Ryan' and 'Boras' reminded everyone why Hashtag Academy are an eSports powerhouse. The English outfit ran riot, racking up the best goal difference of any team (32 goals scored to just 15 conceded, +17) and are through to the quarter-finals in style. FC Basel 1893, for whom 'TheStrxngeR' was in majestic form, also progressed after impressing throughout, particularly with their resolute defending.

Group B: Envy advance, Falcons also flying Frenchman 'Aero' and his German team-mate 'Eisvogel' can sleep easy after securing Team Envy's berth in the quarter-finals at the earliest opportunity. With a record of four wins and a solitary draw, they sit top of Group B and are guaranteed to finish in the top four, whatever happens on Sunday.

For their part, Falcons eSport – who won a regional final last season – dazzled with their attacking play, with 'The Royal' and 'Msdossary 7' coming out all guns blazing. The Saudi Arabian duo produced a string of swashbuckling, cavalier displays – bagging 38 goals and conceding 28 along the way – to put one foot in the last eight.

Despite having 'home' advantage, PSG eSports endured a challenging day. It got off to a difficult start when 'Rocky' had to pull out, with 'PSG Daxe' (Xbox) coming in to partner 'Maniika' (PS4), and their fortunes were mixed thereafter. After two victories and three losses, the French pair are languishing in sixth and head into Sunday's final two Group B matches knowing that they cannot afford any further slip-ups.