Back in February at the Americas Regional in Miami, two Brazilians vied for the title of Regional Champion. It was quite the same in Vancouver, except this time it was two American esports players.
PS4 Champion and NYCFC’s first-ever esports signing Christopher ‘NYC_Chris’ Holly was ousted by five-time FIWC qualifier and Xbox One Champion Giuseppe ‘xGuastellax’ Guastella duked it out in the Americas final in Vancouver.
The first leg of the final, played on Xbox, favored the seasoned veteran Guastella and he sure didn’t waste his time, going up 2-0 early in the first half. Holly struck back, through Ronaldo, to claim a crucial away goal. But, Guastella finished off a nice move to bump his lead to 3-1 at halftime. And that was all she wrote in the first leg, the scoreline remained the same at full-time as well.
The start of the second leg was equally timid, ending the half at nil-nil. The second half only heated up at the 88th minute, when Lionel Messi finished for Holly to make it an interesting 3-2 on aggregate. That makes it an astonishing 5-0 for Xbox One in regional finals over the course of two seasons.
OFF TO WHISTLER GRAND FINAL!⚽️ @didychrislito claims #playstation4 title, @Guastella11 cruises to #XboxOne crown #FUTChampions pic.twitter.com/oJJOdgkgq6— FIWC (@FIWC) April 22, 2017
High scoring was the story of the Group Stages in the Second Season of the Americas FUT Championship Series Regional Final. Here’s how they finished up:
A few familiar names and faces represented themselves strongly. NYC_Chris, the esports player formerly known as ‘didychrislito,’ got a win when he needed it most as he advanced to the knockouts in the PlayStation side of things with a win and a draw. On the Xbox One side, ‘xGuastellax’ too got a win when it mattered most, with the Season 1 regional finalist making his way to the knockout stage as well.
One familiar name, AS Roma's Aman, couldn't get the six points needed to put himself in contention to live up to his billing as one of the competition's favorites. The Roma pro player was grouped as ‘Joga Cesc’ and ‘Carbajal’ both laid claims to being amongst the best on the Xbox One side of things.
Hashtag DM (a.k.a. Dirty Mike), a name familiar to most as a FIFA YouTuber, actually had his start in the game as a professional player. After signing for Spencer ‘FC’ Owens' Hashtag United, Mike reentered the competitive fray with authority. After a 0-0 competitive re-"debut", Mike smashed the New York MLS competition qualifier winner MarsBars en route to a knockout round berth of his own.
Mike outlasted Alekzandur, which comes as a bit of a surprise. One of Europe's top players, Huge Gorilla, had pegged him as the pre-tournament favorite.
Boy, if TNT knows drama, then this knockout round had it memorized. Some of the most exciting matches since the inception of this series took place today.
Well, this is awkward. The Xbox division was fairly clear-cut, with xGuastellax running the show at the end. However, he did have a bit of a rough patch in the winner’s bracket, having to equalize in the 85th minute against Peru and then winning 3-1 on penalties.
Here’s where it all happened. From the very start of Saturday’s competition, two stars from the PS4 division clearly stood out from the rest, rein10 and NYC_Chris; however, they came up against each other early in the winner’s bracket.
It didn’t take long for rein10 to take the lead; he quickly went up 2-0 on his opponent and looked quite comfortable for a little bit, as he had not trailed anyone in the tournament thus far. But Chris struck back to make it a ‘Desmond’ 2-2 at full-time. rein10 went on to win in penalties.
The exact same thing happened when Chris clawed his way back from the loser’s bracket to meet rein10 in the console final. This time, NYC_Chris took the two-goal lead in the first game, but quickly collapsed to end 2-2 again at FT; then, he scored a crucial extra-time goal to force the second game. In the second game, a goal in the 85th minute ensured that NYCFC’s Christopher Holly would become the first competitor to make it to the cross-console Grand Final from the loser’s bracket.
It’s been quite the weekend, and we get a bit of a break now. The last leg of Season Two returns to our screens next month, with the European pros fighting it out in Madrid on May 6. As always, streams will be available on Twitch and YouTube, and also here on EA’s website.
Stay tuned for our rolling coverage, we’ll be talking about everything leading up to the FIFA Interactive World Cup and the Berlin Ultimate Team Championships, which are both at the end of May. Happy FIFA-ing, y’all.