- FIFA holds second-ever FIWC Player Council
- FIWC Week begins in earnest, as 32 of the world's best travel to London
- Grand Final to biggest ever FIWC edition starts 16 August
The biggest week on the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) calendar kicked off in earnest on Monday, as players began to arrive in London for the 2017 FIWC Grand Final, which takes place from 16 to 18 August.
As many of the 32 players begin their journeys from all over the world to arrive in London, FIFA took the opportunity to officially begin FIWC week by holding a Player Conference on Monday 14 August.
Six players were invited to London ahead of the Grand Final to join a panel of FIWC experts at the Player Conference. The conference, the second to be ever held, is an annual FIFA initiative that intends to give players a stronger voice in the rapidly growing tournament. In the conferences, players are encouraged to actively participate in helping discuss and shape the future of the world’s largest football gaming tournament.
"We want to create the best possible tournament setting. To do that, we need our players input,” said Adrian Roelli, Senior Manager of ESports for FIFA.
In attendance at the 2017 London Players Council were first-time Grand Finalists Amanullah Seddiqi (USA; Grand Finalist 2017), Marcus Gomes (Australia; Grand Finalist 2017) and Marcel Lutz (Germany; Grand Finalist 2017), along with two-time Grand Finalists Rafael Fortes (Brazil; Grand Finalist 2014 & 2017), Tassal Rushan (England; Grand Finalist 2012 & 2017) and Dean Coombes (England; Grand Finalist 2015 & 2016).
The council, which ran for over three hours, touched on a variety of topics and led to some enthusiastic and complex discussion. Topics included: player experiences at the qualification events, equipment standards, the role of coaches, the ideal player environment, prize money, allocation of seats per region, player seeding and golden goals.
“It’s always good to have the players and organisers talking to each other,” said Lutz after the session. "I think the pros have valuable insight into the competition and I think it’s the right step to have these conversations to help the progression of this tournament."
“I think a lot of good points were made,” affirmed Seddiqi. “Being able to come and just talk about what could be in the next FIWC and to take ideas from players that have competed in multiple tournaments even outside FIWC and to bring that knowledge in is really good. It feels like we’re actually been listened to, which is great."