The eChampions League is one of the biggest competitions of the year within the FIFA eSports scene and the 2020/21 edition is no different.
The knockout stages got underway last weekend (May 1 and 2) where 32 of Europe’s elite competed on PlayStation for the biggest prize in club football, the eChampions League trophy and a cash pool prize of $280,000, with special guests such as Ian Wright, Roberto Carlos and Rio Ferdinand making appearances to add to the occasion.
So what happened in the knockout stages and what do fans have to look forward to in the Final 8, played on May 28? We got Josh Buchanan, our FIFA eSports expert, for his views on the competition so far.
Josh Buchanan – who you can find on Twitch here – is a FIFA Ultimate Team Verified Player on Xbox who has twice achieved a Top 200 finish on FIFA 21 Weekend League, regularly hitting Elite by recording 23 wins or more.
Competitors in the knockout stages were given an exclusive game mode which allowed them access to any player they wanted on the game. They were allowed up to any three ICONs of their choice, and the rest of their squad had to be Champions League FUT special item cards (blue in-game).
Of course, the main man himself, 97-rated Prime ICON Moments R9 (Ronaldo Nazario), who has five-star skill moves and five-star weak foot, was the go-to man for everyone in the knockout stages. He has been the go-to striker for competitive players for several years as he also provides a green strong link to PSG’s Neymar (left-winger).
The odds-on favourite, and Europe’s number one on PS4, Tom Leese (Hashtag Tom) went crashing out in the early rounds of the tournament. After winning comfortably in the first round, Tom went on to lose back-to-back ties, first 3-2 against Nacho Abella (pepeelbotellu) and then 7-3 versus Yago Gabriel Fawaz (KRU Yago) in the losers bracket.
After his exit, Tom tweeted: “Couldn’t adjust to playing a new game and I was punished. Gutted but these things happen.”
Out the eChampions League with a TOP 17-24 placement and $2,000. Couldn't adjust to playing a new game and I was punished. Gutted but these things happen 😁
— XL Tom (@TomLeese) May 2, 2021
Goal of the tournament so far
Speaking of KRU Yago… Everyone loves a bit of tika taka football, no skills just simple, effective passes and this is what West Ham’s former player KRU Yago did against Hashtag Tom, playing several one-twos between the Brazilian legend duo of Pele and R9 before finishing it perfectly across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.
— KRÜ Esports (@KRUesports) May 2, 2021
A special mention
A special mention to EthxnH who was seen as a dark horse in the eCL. Although he had a very successful season in FIFA 20, to his standards this year has not been as good.
However, it looks as though he may have saved his season after guaranteeing himself a Top 3 finish and $30,00 after beating Mkers OliBoli on penalties in a low-scoring intense tie that finished 1-1 after two legs.
Who is taking part in the final?
As mentioned, the Final 8 of the eChampions League will battle it out on May 28, 2021 for the remaining $225,000 with the winner taking home $75,000.
The Final 8 are as follows:
- Oliver “Mkers OliBoli7” Uttgren (Sweden)
- Raffaele “Er_Caccia98” Cacciapuoti (Italy)
- Ethan “EthxnH” Higgins (England)
- Oliver “OliverPN” Provstgaard (Demark)
- Oliver “OliverNoleReal” Trkulja (Sweden)
- Ander “DUX Neat” Tobal (Spain)
- Kaan “KTzn_91” Tuzun (Turkey)
- Lucio “Mkers HHezerS” Vecchione (Italy)