From 2.5 million to just one - Frenchman Bruce 'The Machine' Grannec became the FIWC 2013 champion with a 1-0 victory over Andrei Torres Vivero in the Grand Final on Wednesday evening.
After three days of intense FIFA 13 action, Grannec beat out competition from 21 other FIWC Grand Finalists to scoop the top prize of $20,000 and two tickets to next year's Ballon d'Or awards.
Vivero, bidding to become the first ever Mexican winner, was the heavy underdog against Grannec. The Frenchman is a former winner (2009), and reached last year's final only to fall to Spaniard Alfonso Ramos on penalties. But having seen off competition from pre-tournament favourites Kai Wollin and Rafael Riobo in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, Vivero was full of confidence.
And the Mexican challenger started the brighter, forcing a early chance through Neymar as Vivero's Brazil team pinned back Grannec's Real Madrid.
That good start lasted exactly 31 minutes though, as Grannec blasted his way into a 1-0 lead through Cristiano Ronaldo. The 2012 runner-up shows little emotion, and the goal seemed to barely register with the Frenchman.
Vivero came out firing again to start the second half, forcing a superb save from Iker Casillas. But Grannec, who kept five clean sheets in the group stage, held firm.
With 20 minutes to play, Vivero went into full-on attack mode, changing his formation to 4-2-4 and setting his philosophy to 'ultra attacking'.
And it so nearly paid off. A lightning counter-attack down the right provided Hulk with an opportunity to take it to extra time in the 90th minute.
But the virtual Brazil striker fluffed his lines, skewing his first-time shot wide when well-placed just six yards out. Heartbreak for Vivero, but jubilation for Grannec - the miss meant he becomes only the second ever double FIWC World Champion.
Last year's victor Alfonso Ramos - the only other FIFA 13 player to win the tournament twice - said earlier in the competition that Ronaldo was FIFA 13's only difference maker, and the Spaniard was proved correct.
Grannec famously remains level headed throughout his games - hence his nickname, 'The Machine'. But $20,000 in prize money and two tickets to the 2013 Ballon d'Or might just be reason to celebrate.
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