Friday 19 April 2019, 14:17

Pride for Argentina pair after FIFA eNations Cup journey

  • Argentina finished second at the FIFA eNations Cup

  • ‘Nicolas99fc’ & ‘Yagocai’ impressed in London

  • Duo reflect on the inaugural tournament with

Argentina showed why they were one of the pre-tournament favourites at the FIFA eNations Cup™ 2019, reaching the final of the inaugural tournament. In the end, however, it wasn’t to be for the South Americans.

After a draw in the PlayStation 1v1 between Argentina’s ‘Nicolas99fc’ and France’s ‘Maestro’, the weight of expectation fell on ‘Yagocai’ and ‘DaXe’. It was the French who emerged victorious; ‘DaXe’ recording a 2-1 victory over ‘Yagocai’ in the Xbox final.

Naturally despondent at losing the decider on Sunday, ‘Nicolas99fc’ and ‘Yagocai’ have since had time to reflect on their odyssey in London.

"I appreciate the second-place finish now. Losing only one game [against ‘DaXe’] in the knockouts is such a great achievement," ‘Yagocai’ told after the dust had settled on the competition.

"I’m watching the game again and again and I can’t stop seeing mistakes that cost my defeat and important moments where I got nervous. But I’ve got a lot of experience from that final."

Gabriel Fawaz of Argentina 

Though they did not come away with global glory, Argentina nonetheless made their mark at the tournament, progressing from the ‘Group of Death’ which saw titans Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Sweden and Norway compete for two knockout round berths.

PlayStation No1 ‘Nicolas99fc’ remained undefeated in his 1v1 encounters, while ‘Yagocai’ earned impressive victories against Xbox No1 ‘F2Tekzz’ and Denmark’s ‘Ustun’ in the knockouts en route to the final.

"At the beginning of the event I could not imagine reaching the final," ‘Nicolas99fc’ told “It’s not that we didn’t have confidence in ourselves, there were just so many good opponents such as Germany, England and Saudi Arabia. They are practically super powers [in eFootball]. Nobody likes to lose a final but the second place is not so bad either."

The eNations Cup saw eFootballers represent their countries in an official capacity for the first time. As well as receiving the backing of Member Associations and competing in national team attire, players also stood for the national anthem before the latter knockout round matches. It marked a significant milestone in the world of professional eFootball.

"It’s one of the most important things I have done in my life so far," said 'Yagocai', reflecting on what it meant to represent Argentina. "Hopefully, I will do it again because it has been a unique experience."

"I believe that being the first Argentinian to qualify for the FIFA Interactive World Cup in 2017 was a similar feeling or even more special,” said ‘Nicolas99fc’. "In the eNations Cup, though, moments such as the national anthems gave it a special touch."

As well as the traditional 1v1 format, the eNations Cup also saw players pair up in a 2v2 – adding an interesting dynamic to a tournament already laden with excitement, tension and drama. It was clear to see the chemistry that both Argentinian players had when teaming up with one another. “It's really satisfying because it helps a lot and ‘Nicolas99fc’ always trusts in me,” said ‘Yagocai’ on playing with his Argentinian team-mate.

eWorld Cup on the horizon

With two of three FIFA majors in the FIFA 19 Global Series – the eClub World Cup and the eNations Cup – now decided, focus will soon turn to the marquee tournament of the campaign: the FIFA eWorld Cup™. PlayStation No1 ‘Nicolas99fc’, a two-time Grand Finalist in 2017 and 2018, is already focused on tweaking his game as the business end of the season approaches.

"I think I need to improve in every way, but if we talked about something in particular, I would say the offensive part," he said. "I have moments where I am very creative and others where I am not."

‘Yagocai’, meanwhile is targeting his first appearance at the eWorld Cup after an impressive showing at the eNations Cup, where he competed on Xbox rather than his preferred PlayStation console.

"My next goal is going to the eWorld Cup playoffs,” asserted ‘Yagocai’. "I’ll try to go as far as possible and see if I can enter the top 16 but I know it’s going to be very difficult." Will we see two Argentinians at the Grand Final later this year?

Nicolas Villalba of Argentina (L) and Gabriel Fawaz of Argentina pose