As the final whistle sounded in the second semi-final of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2015, a murmur ran around Munich’s Volkstheater. Despite a strong performance, Julien Dassonville had just defeated August Rosenmeier on penalties, dashing his hopes of defending his title.
The Dane’s face was etched with the disappointment and dismay of the loss. He left the room immediately after offering customary congratulations to his opponent, only returning for the match for third place. Although he still appeared perturbed by his earlier defeat, he won the ‘small final’ comfortably against Canadian and surprise last-four contestant Lyes Ould-Ramoul to secure the bronze medal.
This achievement was of scant consolation for the ambitious gamer. “I’m so disappointed,” he told FIFA.com after the tournament. “I didn’t win third place – I lost first. My main objective was to defend my title, but unfortunately I didn’t manage it,” the frustrated Rosenmeier said.
“Now I’m standing here in third place. I didn’t have any poor matches, but I just wanted to win that second title no matter what,” the 18-year-old continued – and as the only one of the 20 competitors to emerge from the group stage without dropping a point, his assessment is completely accurate. The 2014 champion conceded just twice and scored 12 times in the five games leading to the semi-final.
The self-critical Dane
Then came a frustrating last-four encounter with his French rival. Despite controlling the match and hardly allowing his opponent a shot in 120 minutes, Rosenmeier had only one excellent goalscoring opportunity of his own – and missed it. “I was a little nervous, of course, but I didn’t take my chances,” he reflected. “It then came down to little details and those didn’t go my way today.”
The Dane made a tactical change ahead of the match for third place, opting to play with a Germany side that offered greater penetrative power. Should he have made that switch ahead of the semi-final? “Brazil were very good for me for the entire tournament,” he explained. “My team did their job well, I just didn’t score a goal. I blame myself rather than the players,” he concluded.
Despite being so frustrated with himself, Rosenmeier remained a fair sportsman and congratulated his successor. “I want to congratulate him; if anyone’s earned this, it’s Alshehri,” he said. “He’s played fantastically throughout the competition and got the better of his opponent in the final.” The two gamers have one interesting fact in common after Alshehri won his first title at his third Grand Final attempt – just as his Danish counterpart did last year.
Despite failing to defend his title, Rosenmeier generally delivered a convincing display in Munich, and had just one objective in the match for third place: “I wanted to show the real ‘Agge’ [his nickname – editor’s note].” Although there is no doubt that he succeeded, he was left unsure where his career might lead next.
The former champion admitted that his first priority was to return home, let the experiences of FIWC 2015 sink in and take some much-needed time to think, explaining: “I’ll see what happens when the new season starts.” In any event, it would be a great shame if August Rosenmeier’s spirited appearance in Munich proved to be his last on the FIWC stage.