They’re the greatest Anglo-Argentine duo since Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez.
Donovan “F2Tekkz” Hunt and Nicolas “nicolas99fc” Villalba have lived up to expectations by winning the FIFA eClub World Cup for German side KiNG Esports.
The pair defeated Frenchmen Aurelein “Moolzn” Cheron and Nathan “Herozia” Gil in the final, who were representing the French top-flight football club Dijon FCO, to win the $40,000 prize and 1500 points each in the FIFA Global Series.
It’s not as if “F2Tekkz” and “nicolas99fc” were in need of Global Series points. Prior to the tournament, which was broadcast from Sky Sports’ studios in London, the pair were both the number one ranked players on their respective consoles, with the Englishman heading the Xbox rankings and the Argentine on top of the PS4 side, making them firm favourites.
“F2Tekkz” has won two titles already this season, including a FUT Champions Cup victory in Bucharest, whilst “nicolas99fc” has a Licensed Qualifier title to his name after winning in London in January.
Their victory in London will now extend their leads at the top of their console leaderboards and have almost certainly secured their spots at the Global Series Playoffs in June.
What is the FIFA eClub World Cup?
The eClub World Cup this year had a revamped format, making it unique in the FIFA esports calendar.
Sixteen “eClubs”, who earned their spots through online qualifiers, were drawn into four groups of four, with each team having two FIFA players (one Xbox and one PlayStation).
The 16 teams consisted of a mix of traditional football clubs, like Ajax, Manchester City and finalists Dijon, and esports organisations like FaZe Clan and Team Vitality.
In each group stage match up, three games are played: a 1v1 on Xbox, a 1v1 on PS4 and a 2v2 on a console chosen prior to the tournament, with each game awarding three points for a win and one for a draw.
In the knockouts, the 2v2 match is only used as a decider if the two teams are drawn after the first two games.
How did KiNG reach the final?
KiNG topped a challenging Group D which saw them face football clubs Al Nassr FC from Saudi Arabia and Dutch top-flight sight Ajax. There was also a second Dutch team in the group; esports organisation ECV Esports.
After sailing through the groups, they had a tough fight through the knockout stages with both the quarter final and semi final going to the 2v2 decider.
In the quarter finals they faced Imperial, a UK based esports organisation, and in the semis they were pitted against Futbolist, a FIFA team based in Turkey.
Despite these rounds going to deciders, both “nicolas99fc” and “F2Tekkz” were clinical in their games against Dijon in the final, winning 2-0 and 4-2 respectively.
A French upset
With the favourites living up to expectations and claiming the title, there wasn’t much in the way of major upsets.
However, runners up Dijon were certainly the surprise package of the weekend. The French club were in the same qualifying group as Team Vitality, a French organisation known across the globe for being top performers in a number of esports, who actually loaned “Moolzn” and “Herozia” to Dijon to compete at the tournament.
Vitality opted for the more experienced pairing of Fouad “Rafsou” Fares and Corentin “Maestro” Thuillier, but they failed to make it out of their group as the Dijon duo advanced.
Dijon then overcome Manchester City and FaZe Clan in the knockouts, only to be second best to KiNG in the final.
A conversation-starting tournament
With the new format, and a new winner ending the run of two consecutive eClub World Cup titles by Danish side Brondby, the tournament produced both some positive and negative observations on the current state of FIFA esports.
Many fans have wanted some more variation in the esport, and the interesting new dynamic of having both individual and team play in the same tournament has gone down well with the community.
However, it’s also caused a debate as to whether the e“Club” World Cup really lived up to the name.
Of all the players competing, many are thought to be on temporary or loan contracts, such as the players from Dijon being loaned out by Vitality.
Some of the “clubs” at the tournament were also created for the sole purpose of competing at the event, such as KiNG, who by trade are an esports marketing agency rather than a team who compete, who pulled in “nicolas99fc” from FC Basel and “F2Tekkz from the F2 Freestylers on loan contracts.
This his opened up a debate as to whether only players with full-time contracts should be allowed to compete to prevent newly formed “clubs” stealing the show over football clubs and organisations who have established solid player rosters.
Despite the success of the tournament, this will certainly be a sticking point and don’t be surprised to see tighter rules on contracts in later tournaments like the eClub World Cup.
The next big FIFA esports major will be the FUT Champions Cup #4 in Atlanta later this month, where both “F2Tekkz” and “nicolas99fc” will compete again, this time not as a team but against each other.