- List of participants finalised after pre-qualifying and available on FIFA.gg
- Unheralded newcomers rubbing shoulders with the world’s best FIFAe clubs
- Qualifying begins on 17 December
With pre-qualifying completed on 11 December, the next step is the qualifying round for the hotly-contested spots at the FIFAe Club World Cup 2021, with this year’s format recompensing the best teams from six different zones.
Over 480 teams are involved in the FIFAe Club Series – more than ever before. The biggest and best-known clubs in FIFA esports are all there, along with ones that have made it through pre-qualifying and are looking to create a surprise or two by mixing it with the world’s leading teams at the FIFAe Club World Cup 2021.
Each of the six zones is divided into conferences, which again can have as many as three divisions in them. The highest-placed teams in each first division as well as the ones at the top of the Consistency Ranking will go through at the end of qualifying to either the FIFAe Club World Cup or the play-offs in each of the various regions.
All results so far as well as a list of the clubs taking part can be found at FIFA.gg.
In each conference, the two highest-placed teams from the first division will qualify, along with the two that are at the top of the Consistency Ranking after the last week of qualifying for the FIFAe Club World Cup 2021 (in Zones 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6), while the path for those teams in Zone 4 will go through the play-offs.
The first zone has a conference with just one division. Team FW AU qualified last year and will be looking to return to the biggest FIFA esports stage once more. Melbourne City eSports have stand-out player Marcus Gomes in their ranks and are the other favourites in this zone. The Aussie star will also have to face his brother, Dillon Gomes, who turns out for True Boost Esports.
In the second zone, where the conference is divided into two divisions, Blue United eFC are the hot favourites both to qualify and to take out the zonal title, having already made it through to the main event on two occasions. Kashima Antlers have acquired the services of former FIFAe World Cup participant 'Nasri121017', and that makes them the main rivals to Blue United eFC for FIFAe Club World Cup qualifying.
The third zone has a three-division conference. A number of teams have already shown their worth at previous events and made it more than clear that this promises to be a pitched battle for the four qualifying spots in this zone. Last year’s qualifiers Nasr eSports are expected to duke it out with the likes of Goliath Gaming, Al-Nassr FC, Orlando Pirates FC and Urban Espresso as they all look to progress to the next stage.
The list of participants in Zone 4 is brimming with talent – so much so that there are no fewer than 14 conferences each with three divisions battling it out to qualify for the play-offs. The teams include current FIFAe Club World Cup runners-up Ellevens as well as Denmark’s Brondby IF, who are the most successful club in the history of the tournament. Manchester City esports will be looking to make it through to the big event for the fourth time, and along with Brondby, they hold the record for qualifying with three appearances each.
Just behind them on two appearances are the likes of AFC Ajax, FaZe Clan, Bochum, Olympique Lyonnais, Mkers and a number of other clubs, and they will certainly be looking to make it three.
Fnatic, who currently sit third in the FIFA Club World Ranking and have 'Tekkz' and 'Harry' in their ranks, are the red-hot favourites for their particular conference, and the same also applies to Tundra and FOKUS Clan, who each have a FIFAe World Cup winner representing them ('MsDossary' in 2018 for the former, 'MoAuba' in 2019 for the latter). Feyenoord Rotterdam’s Julian Berg has caught the eye with his performances in the Weekend League and will be looking to steer his club to their first ever FIFAe Club World Cup appearance.
Plenty of new FIFA esports clubs such as Dortmund, Grizi Esport and Inter Milan will be looking to bely their current FIFAe Club Rankings that have placed them in the lower divisions and create an upset or two.
The fifth zone is made up of three conferences, each with three divisions. Top favourites are FC Basel 1893 eSports, who have already qualified twice for the main event in the past, and who have a truly dynamic duo in 'FCB Nicolas99FC' and 'SpiderKong'. Cruzeiro, SPQR, Wolves, Inter, Netshoes esports and Ronaldinho’s R10 team are among the other front-runners in this zone.
One conference with three divisions makes up Zone 6, with three teams standing out from the crowd in a strong list of participants. Defending FIFAe Club World Cup winners and current FIFAe Club Ranking leaders Complexity Gaming are expected to lead the way in the quest to make it through to the main event, along with New York City esports and Sergio Aguero’s KRU esports.
All the results from qualifying can be found on FIFA.gg.