From 20 to 22 March the world’s 32 best EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 players travelled to New York for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2016 Grand Final.
FIWC 2016, which was the 12th edition of the tournament, made history by becoming the first edition of the world’s largest gaming tournament to be made available on both of the world’s leading gaming systems – the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One.
Over 2.3 million players from 192 countries competed in the qualification phase for the tournament which ran over three online qualification months and included one host country live event.
New York, a new show!
Each Grand Final brings its own local flavour. New York, one of the world’s most iconic cities did not disappoint in this regard. The traditional tournament draw was hosted by England’s most capped player, Frank Lampard, and included an unforgettable photoshoot in Times Square, where fans gathered to get not only Lampard’s signature but also photos and autographs from the e-sports stars. Incredibly, three days later, during the final showdown, the finalists would return to Times Square, this time however, it would be in the form of a broadcast signal, as the entire Final Showdown was broadcast on the giant screen in Times Square.
“I understand the players emotions perfectly. Playing at the best tournament in the world, defending your country, defending your team... Becoming a world champion was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” FIFA World Cup winner and New York City FC Captain David Villa told FIFA.com in an exclusive interview backstage after the Final match.
TournamentDay one of the tournament took the 32 hopefuls to the rooftop lounge of Skylark in the middle of midtown Manhattan. Surrounded by glass and uninterrupted views of the New York Skyline the 32 players set about trying to make it past the group stage. As the sun set over Manhattan, the day’s matches came to a close and the field was whittled to just four names, Ivan Lapanje (SWE), Dylan Bance (FRA), Mohamad Al-Bacha (DEN) and Sean Allen (ENG)
Final Showdown"'Insane. It’s probably the best, single moment in FIFA competitive history, I’d say,” Said YouTube star Spencer Owen after the finale to the tournament, held at Harlem's world famous Apollo Theatre. “I’ve never seen anything like that in all the finals I’ve watched, and I’ve been to a few!'" AL Bacha clawed his way back from the brink with seconds to spare to win the Final. Watch the video highlights from the historic final. New York City FC Captain David Villa handed the new champion his cheque for USD $20,000 and his official trophy for winning the biggest gaming tournament in the world.
1. Mohamad Al-Bacha (DEN)
2. Sean Allen (ENG)
Grand Final locationsTournament Draw: Row NYC Hotel
Day : Skylark
Final showdown: Harlem’s Apollo Theatre