UK FIFA player Donovan "DhTekKz" Hunt capped off a stunning maiden tournament by beating Nicolás "Nicolas99fc" Villalba 9-3 on aggregate to win the FUT Champions Cup in Barcelona.
Starting off the tournament as a relative unknown, DhTekKz Hunt took the final in dominating fashion, going 1-0 up through Lionel Messi after just two minutes, and was already 2-0 up before ten minutes with the Brazilian Ronaldo.
Despite the early flurry of goals, Nicolas99fc would make a late dent in the deficit, eventually losing the match 3-2, but with a fighting chance for the return leg.
DhTekKz was not to be deterred, putting five past the Argentine within the first half to round off the game 6-1 and 9-3 on aggregate.
After the match, DhTekKz said: "Honestly, I don’t know what to say. I came into the tournament expecting to do well, got some hard matchups, came through it and believed I could win."
He added on Twitter:
Best day of my life. The fact people are taking pictures with me is overwhelming. I took pictures with everyone who asked. I also delayed all the interviews until after the final so I can concentrate fully. Spent hours after I won doing interviews for everyone that asked. ❤
— DhTekKz (@DhTekKz) January 29, 2018
DhTekKz started the day strong, beating the self-proclaimed 'best FIFA player in the world' Kurt "Kurt041" Fenech.
The 16-Year olds path to the final would only get tougher with matches against Ryan "Hashtag Ryan" Pessoa, Michael “MegaBit98” Bittner and Niklas “NRaseck7” Raseck, who eliminated the UK's current FIFA Interactive World Cup champion Spencer "Gorilla" Ealing the round before. Crikey.
A total of 128 competitors showed up to compete for $200,000 in FIFA 18’s first tournament on the road to the eWorld Cup, along with one of the 16 spots available in the FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs a few months down the line in June.
The Winning Goal! ⚽️👀
— EA UK (@electronicarts) January 28, 2018
— The Boi (@ChuBoi) January 27, 2018
The tournament kicked off on Friday with players split between the PS4 and Xbox One divisions. 64 made it to the knockout stage on Sunday, with each player facing off against others with an identical record in the tournament.
Four wins earned automatic qualification to the bracket stage while four losses saw players eliminated entirely.
Elsewhere, UK player Shaun "Shellzz" Springette failed to make the knockouts on the PS4 side after losing to Tim “The StrxngeR” Katnawatos, and another UK pro, Tassal "Tass" Rushan, who recently joined FaZe Clan, met a similar end after being eliminated by fellow countryman Spencer "Gorilla" Ealing.
Another UK Pro named DreamR also made the knockouts but was also eliminated by Gorilla.
FIFA players and talent heaped praise on DhTekKz:
16 years old and doing these things. Im really freaking impressed @DhTekKz 😱
— Hashtag Agge (@AggeRosenmeier) January 28, 2018
Watch @DhTekKz as a prime example go from being unknown to well-known, if he keeps this up! This is what FIFA eSports is all about! Creating stories at the highest level! So many big talking points and pros in the making! What a start to the year @EASPORTSFIFA#FIFAeWorldCup 🎮
— Brandon Smith (@BSmith_Esports) January 28, 2018
— Spencer (@Gorilla_Unilad) January 28, 2018
— The Boi (@ChuBoi) January 28, 2018
One thing is for sure - the UK knows how to play FIFA. And exciting new up and coming players are emerging all the time.