Some of the UK’s finest football gaming talent battled it out in London last night in the latest leg of live qualification for the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC). In the race to be crowned FIWC 12 Champion, 18 contestants from all over the UK were in London’s bustling Oxford Street, with Premier League footballers Jay Bothroyd, Queens Park Rangers and Dickson Etuhu, Fulham FC among the spectators.
The FIWC is the world’s largest online gaming tournament, organised by FIFA in association with Presenting Partners EA SPORTS ™ and PlayStation®. The event gives football fans the chance to live out their passion for football by competing against each other at FIFA ‘12. With over 800,000 players already registered around the world, the FIWC is a fiercely contested tournament, with the FIFA ’12 game boasting Wayne Rooney, Gerard Piqué and Nemanja Vidic among its fans.
Birmingham resident and 2011 Grand Finalist Ty Walton emerged victorious last night, securing his place in May’s Grand Final, where prestigious prizes of an invite to the FIFA Ballon d’Or and a coveted $20,000 prize will go to the eventual World Champion.
In an unusual match-up, Ty Walton’s Real Madrid met Adam Johnson’s Real Madrid in last night’s Final of the UK Qualifiers. Walton, a 2011 Grand Finalist, endured a tough night but claimed his place at the Grand Final after beating Irishman Adam Johnson 2-1 in last night’s final. In a tense affair, Walton took the lead in the 18th minute with a fantastic effort from Cristiano Ronaldo. Walton pulled off a signature move as he bypassed two players in the penalty area with a 360 spin before striking low and hard. The post intervened but Walton made sure by following up on the rebound and putting the ball into the net.
After failing to convert a penalty in the 25th minute, Walton doubled his advantage with a cracking header from Benzema taking a comfortable two goal cushion into the second half. However, Johnson cranked up the pressure in the second half and pulled a goal back in 56th minute. Although this was not enough as Walton held off the fight back and stayed calm under pressure to claim a spot in the 2012 Grand Final.
Walton commented, “I was delighted to be back again challenging for the Qualifier event here in London, so knowing that I’ve secured a place at the Grand Final is a dream come true. My experience at the 2011 Grand Final in Los Angeles was unbelievable so hopefully I can go back and win the tournament outright this year. The competition tonight was really strong as expected but I managed to pull a few tricks out of the bag to clinch a victory in the Final.”
QPR striker Bothroyd said: “The FIWC is a fantastic way for football fans from all walks of life to come together and showcase their FIFA 12 skills. The competition was fierce and the some of the goals scored were incredible, I played against one lad who told me I should stick to my day job! Congratulations to Ty Walton, I’ll be making sure I stay away from him online!”
Contestants can still participate in this year’s FIWC through an online tournament played on the PLAYSTATION®Network, by registering ‘in-game’ in FIFA ’12 on their PS3. For more information on the FIWC, go to: www.fifa.com/fiwc