- Dijon FCO upset the odds to reach eClub World Cup final
- French duo of ‘Herozia’ and ‘Moolzn’ surprised the pundits
- Pair reflect on run to second place
KiNG eSports and Manchester City were among the frontrunners, Ajax had plenty of talent, while you couldn’t write off the likes of FaZe Clan and Team Vitality last weekend. But next to no one had Dijon FCO down as potential FIFA eClub World Cup finalists.
While ‘Herozia’ on the Xbox arrived at 47th in the world, PlayStation team-mate ‘Moolzn’ was positioned 239th – well out of the conversation for the FIFA Global Series Playoffs later in the year. As a result, when they made it down to the climax it was an achievement to be applauded.
“In terms of [teams I’ve been impressed by] I’d have to say Dijon, only because we weren’t expecting them to do what they’ve done,” host Spencer FC explained, while naming ‘Herozia’ as the player who impressed him most.
Having been loaned in from Team Vitality, they had an unusual start to the tournament by facing off against their compatriots, but it quickly became clear after a strong showing against Vfl Bochum that they were bound for the second day.
And once they had dispatched Manchester City in the quarter-finals, courtesy of a thumping Ruud Gullit goal in their nail-biting 2-1 win during the two v two decider, no one was doubting their potential to reach the final.
With similar playing styles it was no surprise the duo gelled superbly in the four-man match-ups, with the team element on the whole driving both on to succeed. “The fact that we can play with our team-mates and not only one v one but also in two v two, means you can share those moments,” ‘Moolzn’ told FIFA.com. “We can talk together to makes things work and it’s more fun.”
‘Herozia’ concurred. “It meant you wanted to [win] for your partner and I think two v two is the best format because you get to have these moments with them. This is one of the best tournaments I have played at in my career.”
While the new format favoured them, a pair of one v one wins against FaZe Clan put them into the final, but defeats to both KiNG’s ‘nicolas99fc’ and ‘Tekkz’ meant the title was a step too far. “We are very proud of our performance because I think nobody predicted that we could get to the final,” ‘Herozia’ reflected. “We’re a bit sad because we lost, but overall I think we can be proud of our performance.”
With all the expectations on the two No1 ranked players in the world, it meant the Dijon duo could play free of scrutiny, but it wasn’t to be. “Being underdogs meant there was less pressure on us, I think,” ‘Moolzn’ explained post-match, “so we could approach the game like we had nothing to lose. I think it’s worked in our favour.”
“Even if we are underdogs we still need to perform,” ‘Herozia’ added. “We had pressure but we know how to play under pressure. We showed that today.”
Reaching the final, walking away with not only $20,000 but also 850 ranking points each, all but securing their passage into the FIFA Global Series Playoffs, with ‘Moolzn’ rocketing up the rankings by 210 places.
“Now we want to be at the Grand Final,” ‘Herozia’ said looking toward the season climax. “[Qualifying for] the playoffs is done, which is good, but we are competitors so now we just want to go to the World Cup and will be trying to achieve that.”
After the way in which Dijon FCO exceeded expectations in London, only a fool would write them off.