Saturday 01 February 2020, 12:16

The FIFA eClub World Cup through the years

  • FIFA eClub World Cup to take place from 7-9 February in Milan

  • 2020 edition is the fourth in tournament’s history

  • Take a look back at the three previous showpieces

History will be made at the FIFA eClub World Cup 2020™ with a new team-based side being crowned the best on the planet.

Inaugural winners in 2017 and back-to-back champions in 2018, Brondby IF will not be present in Italy to wrestle back the crown this year. Meanwhile, last year’s winners KiNG eSports will also be absent from the 2020 edition as an organisation.

Last year’s winning team-mates ‘Tekkz’ and ‘Nicolas99fc’ will both be at this year’s competition but on different teams: ‘Tekkz’ will be one of Fnatic’s representatives while Argentina’s ‘Nicolas99fc’ will be defending the colours of Swiss side FC Basel 1893 eSports.

Before the hotly anticipated 2020 edition gets under way in Milan, though, we take a look back at the three previous eClub World Cups.

Donovan Hunt (L) and Nicolas Villalba of KiNG eSports pose with their prize after being crowned champions of the FIFA eClub World Cup 2019

2017: Brondby IF take first club world crown

London hosted the first-ever eClub World Cup, then known as the FIFA Interactive Club World Cup, as 24 players from 19 clubs gathered at Sky Studios in August 2017 for an intense day of competitive gaming.

From Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain to Manchester City and River Plate, the eSports divisions of world-renowned football clubs vied for the right to be called the world’s best.

A tantalising Grand Final was set up between Olympique Lyonnais’ ‘Rafsou’ and Brondby IF’s ‘Marcuzo’, with the latter taking home a cash prize of $10,000. Both players also secured places at that month’s FIFA eWorld Cup™ after winning their respective console finals.

2018: Danish delight as Brondby retain title

The second eClub World Cup saw a wealth of talent descend on Paris for the second edition of the tournament in May 2018.

Extended to two days with 16 sides, with each team consisting of one player per console and facing their respective counterparts in individual games, a mix of eSport organisations and eSport divisions of football clubs met to contest for a prize pool of $50,000, with the winner bagging $25,000.

Hashtag Academy and Falcons eSport, the latter featuring ‘MsDossary’ just months before his eWorld Cup triumph, staked their claim as early contenders after topping their respective eight-team groups.

In the end, however, it was ‘Fredberg’ and ‘Ustun’ of Brondby who secured the Danish giants a second successive title after seeing off Team Envy’s ‘Aero’ and ‘Eisvogel’ in the final. After going down 4-1 in the first-leg, the Scandinavians staged a remarkable comeback with ‘Ustun’ stunning ‘Aero’ 6-0 to snatch victory.

2019: KiNG eSports take eClub World Cup throne

The eClub World Cup returned to London in 2019 where 32 competitors and 16 teams vied for global glory and a prize pot of $100,000. A changed tournament format saw every group have four teams with each fixture consisting of one match on PlayStation, one on Xbox and capped with a 2v2 encounter.

While 2v2 clashes were reserved for draws in the knockout stage, the tournament proved tightly contested with all quarter-final games needing a 2v2 game decider after being locked in a stalemate after the 1v1s.

Dijon FCO, with a pairing of ‘Herozia’ and ‘Moolzn’, proved to be the surprise package after storming to the final against the odds. But there was to be no fairytale ending for the French outfit.

They were beaten in the final by a dream-team pairing of ‘Tekkz’ and ‘Nicolas99fc’ – both ranked No1 in the world on their respective consoles at the time – as KiNG eSports became just the second team to claim the eClub World Cup title.