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Resilience and resolve marked Munich moment

Abdulaziz Alshehri of Saudi Arabia celebrates with the FIFA Interactive World Cup winners trophy and David Alaba of FC Bayern Muenchen
© Getty Images

Following three exciting days at the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2015 Grand Final in Munich, Abdulaziz Alshehri from Saudi Arabia was crowned the new FIWC champion after beating France's Julien Dassonville 3-0 in the final. The bronze medal went to outgoing champion August Rosenmeier, who defeated Lyes Ould-Ramoul in the play-off for third place.

Having finished among the final eight at Dubai 2012, as a semi-finalist at Madrid 2013 and missing out on qualification for Brazil 2014, the Saudi Arabian proved that resilience and self-belief are key ingredients in becoming a world champion. “You should never give up,” Alsherhi told Grand Final host Kay Murray on stage at Munich’s Volkstheate, the trophy clutched in his arms. “I’ve come close a few times and finally I’ve been rewarded.”

Home of the world champions
The path to Munich - which is home to several players from Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup winning squad - included six online seasons, three live qualification events and more than one million gamers. Among the 20 Grand Finalists 15 nations were represented, showing just how international and competitive the world’s largest gaming tournament has become since the maiden edition in 2004.

The Grand Prize for winning the 2015 Grand Final of the world’s largest gaming tournament included a USD20,000 cash prize and a trip for two people to the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015. The coveted trophy and cheque were presented to the winner by Austria international and Bayern Munich regular David Alaba. The 22-year-old is an avid virtual footballer. "I really enjoyed being here," Alaba told "The event and the skills of the players have been totally amazing."

Stars light up stage
Alba wasn’t the only celebrity to surprise FIWC fans in Munich. 2014 FIFA World Cup™ winner Christoph Kramer popped in to hand each Grand Finalist their tournament jersey along with some words of encouragement and pop star Kwabs’ took to the stage for a special performance on the final day. Former Bayern Munich striker Alan McInally and two-time FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala co-host Kay Murray provided hosting and commentary duties for the duration of the tournament.

*Final standings
1. Abdulaziz Alshehri (KSA)
2. Julien Dassonville (FRA)
3. August Rosenmeier (DEN)

Grand Final locations
Tournament Draw: Bayerischer Hof Hotel
Day 1: Lenbach Palace
Final showdown: Munchner Volkstheate

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