In what was the last chance saloon for a number of players to reach the FIFA Global Series Playoffs, this past weekends’ eClub World Cup in Paris – which featured a number of UK players – was marred by controversy.
Jamie Hore provides a recap of the event.
The title was claimed for the second time by Danish football club Brondby, represented by countrymen Fatih “fifaustun” Ustun and Frederick “fredberg2013” Fredberg.
Fredberg suffered a 4-1 defeat in the first leg of the final at the hands of the Manchester FUT Champions Cup runner up Eisvogel of Team Envy.
However, an emphatic 6-0 comeback in the second game from Ustun against “Aero”, including an outrageous El Tornado goal, sealed the win for the Danes.
Unfortunately the superb performances were overshadowed by alleged match fixing in the final round of Group A, which saw Arte Virtual’s Freitas and Schalke’s Idealz both go through after drawing their fixture.
It was the last game that Schalke played in their group and was 3-3 on aggregate. Esportsranks published a report suggesting neither player desired to make an attempt to move forward to score, and that some calls of collusion appeared on social media.
EA’s FIFA esports rules state “soft play, defined as a player not trying their hardest” and “allowing an opponent to score more or less goals than they normally would” are offenses.
However, the players will likely argue they were playing normally. It is still unclear if this will be investigated further.
It also meant that the two British players for UNILAD (Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing and Shaun “Shellz” Springette) missed out on the top four and were eliminated in the group stage.
Well this tournament’s prestige just took a massive hit. Absolute disgrace that we had to see blantant matchfixing
— Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) May 20, 2018
There was also drama in the semi-finals, where Team Mkers’ Maltese player Kurt “Kurt0411” Fenech (who tweeted above) walked off stage during his match with eventual winner “fifaustun”:
Aggrieved by the amount of “kick-off goals” he was conceding at the hands of the Dane, he was forced back on stage to finish the match, where he passed the ball around the back in protest.
This did, however, raise questions about whether a previous gameplay patch from FIFA’s developers, EA, was effective in trying to reduce the ease in which players could score immediately from kick-off.
The drama surrounding the tournament also saw Spencer Owen, owner of the Hashtag United esports team and one of the presenters for the eClub World Cup coverage, take to social media to criticse Kurt0411’s sportsmanship and defend players who were utilising the kick-off glitch.
If I was in charge of this tournament doing what Kurt just did and what others have done this year would mean immediate disqualification from this and the future tournaments.
Embarrassing behaviour from an adult. #FIFAeClubWordCup
— Spencer FC (@SpencerOwen) May 20, 2018
The match fixing and gameplay issues come at a tough time for the competitive FIFA scene, with questions raised about qualifying methods for the Global Series Playoffs as well as a bizarrely run tournament which was broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Away from the controversy, it was a relatively disappointing night for the British players.
Ryan “HashtagRyan” Pessoa was eliminated with his Hashtag United partner Ivan “HashtagBoras” Lapanje in the quarters after a narrow 6-5 aggregate defeat to Mkers.
As mentioned, the British duo of “Gorilla” and “Shellz” for UNILAD suffered a shock exit in the group stage.
The group stage was also the end of the road for the final two British players: Method’s Owen “Venny” Venn and Lightning Pandas’ Sean “Dragon” Allen.
The tournament in Paris was the last opportunity to secure a place for the Global Series Playoffs in Amsterdam. These are the British players who will be making the journey to Holland (all Xbox players):
- F2TekKz (F2)
- HashtagRyan, HashtagHarry, HashtagDreamr (all Hashtag United)
- Gorilla (UNILAD)
You can watch the eClub final won by Danish football club Brondby here: