EA SPORTS Cup: FOKUS conqueror secures the title

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At the first edition of the EA SPORTS Cup, the two winners from the German duels were able to advance to the final. You can be sure of participating in the FIFAe Club World Cup. You can read about who bought the tickets here.

Winner of the first EA SPORTS Cup.
FIFA via Getty Images

The semi-finals and the final were played on Thursday. Getting started in the semifinals was Fnatic duo Diogo Mendes and Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt, who easily defeated RB Leipzig on Tuesday. Fnatic also wanted to make things clear against Complexity Gaming early on: it was 3-0 after just 90 in-game minutes.

Accordingly, the RB conqueror acted on the counterattack in the second leg. Although Complexity had a lot of ball possession, they were rarely able to outplay the compact ranks of the opponent.

If they succeeded, they either failed because of the goalkeeper or because of a defender. Since Fnatic didn’t play their counterattack either, both parted goalless with 0:0. A result that was enough for Hunt and Mendes to advance to the final. So already certain: Participation in the FIFAe Club World Cup 2023.

Drama in the penalty shootout

A ticket that TG.NIP, who narrowly defeated the FOKUS Clan in the quarter-finals, and Team FUTWIZ still wanted to secure. First of all: It was exciting. Both teams gave nothing over 180 in-game minutes.

While Ethan ‘EthxnH’ Higgins and Jacob ‘NiKSNEB’ Benskin went into the second leg with a 1-0 lead for Team FUTWIZ, Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin and Levi de Weerd equalized for TG.NIP in the second encounter.

Since no winner was found in extra time either, the penalty shootout had to bring the decision. TG.NIP fired the first shot directly in the sand. Although it was hard, but shot in the middle, the opposing keeper stopped and parried the shot. The FUTWIZ team cheekily presented: A Panenka in the middle.

The second penalty kick from TG.NIP was much better placed, but the opponent also had the right nose. Again powerful, this time shot into the top right corner, the goalkeeper stretched and defended. A good starting position for Team FUTWIZ.

Comeback at the very last moment

But the tide was about to turn. TG.NIP parried first and stayed in the running. After a series of converted shots, the fourth try equalized as Team FUTWIZ was denied by the goalkeeper.

Accordingly, both teams went into the last, fifth attempt with a tie. TG.NIP converted again powerfully into the upper corner – the pressure was on Higgins and Benskin. Arbin and de Weerd took a corner early on, moving the keeper to the left.

From her point of view, she made the right decision – that’s exactly where her opponent shot. Loud cheers followed on one side, Higgins and Benskin sat motionless on the other side.

Clear matter after an hour ingame

A furious comeback on penalties that gave ‘Ollelito’ and de Weerd a boost for the final. Although Fnatic was able to keep up in the first leg for almost an hour, TG.NIP pulled away with the intermediate score of 1:1. Two goals put them in a good position to meet again.

Possibly learned from the opponent’s mistakes in the previous penalty shoot-out, they brought this lead over the rounds. Two goals from her made the aggregate 5-1 in favor of Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin and Levi de Weerd. Not only did they win the cup and $50,000 in prize money, they also secured a ticket to the FIFAe Club World Cup. $35,000 went to Fnatic – also a participation in the FIFAe Club World Cup.

Many German teams at the qualifying rounds

Of course, the EA SPORTS Cup was the fastest way to secure a place at the Club World Cup. The “traditional” path is through the Global Club Series qualifying rounds. The online qualifiers are scheduled there on February 1st and 2nd – in the Europe-Central-West zone with plenty of German participation.

In division one there is a Ruhrpott derby between Schalke and Bochum, Cologne meets Basel, Gladbach meets NEO. In the second division, Rostock has to play against Team BDS, IQONIC against the FOKUS Clan, Borussia Dortmund against Nantes and Mainz 05 against Olympique Lyon.

Hannover 96, VfL Wolfsburg and Darmstadt 98 and FC Augsburg complete the third division. The latter two play against each other, Hannover 96 has to deal with NEO Blue, the wolves with 4 gamers.

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