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Msdossary takes FIFAeWorldCup home for Saudi Arabi

Monday 6th August 2018

The World Cup in Russia this summer was a fantastic festival of football. However, Saudi Arabi were unable to make it out of the group stage after defeats to Russia and Uruguay. In the FIFA e World Cup, Mosaad 'Mdossary' Aldossary gave his country the honours, earning the right to call himself the best FIFA 18 player on the planet and take home the $250,000 awarded to the world champion.

The best 32 players in the world travelled to England's capital to compete at the O2. Over 20 million players attempted to qualify for live events this year, including myself. Few from that staggering number [not including myself] made it to the major tournaments that fed into the final. Sixteen players competed on Xbox, another 16 on PlayStation before the two winners faced off.

The entire three-day event was broadcast live on Sky Sports, allowing players and fans the opportunity to watch it around the world.

There were many shocks along the way. The favourite for the overall title, Nicolas99fc, crashed out in the final eight. Last year's English champion, Gorilla, fell at the same stage.

Aldossary is not the first Saudi to become FIFA world champion. Compatriot Abdulaziz Alshehri won the title in 2015. Aldossary came into the event tipped to go far after winning a major title earlier this season in Manchester. For most of the event, he seemed in full control.

After beating the best Xbox players in the world he faced the Playstation champion Stefano ‘StefanoPinna’ Pinna for the main prize. Aldossary ensured it was barely a contest, winning 4-0 to take the title and money.

It was a fantastic achievement. Over the year, it is hard to argue with him taking the title. He has been very consistent.

It was a breakthrough year in esport for FIFA. While this year’s version of FIFA 18 has come under fire for the gameplay, the competitive events have been fantastic. FIFA 17 and the addition of FUT champions was a step up last year, but 2018 went to another level.

A series of high profile 128-man events, all with lucrative prize pools and televised live, was a phenomenon esport had not previously enjoyed. Regionalised events in countries such as the USA and Australia appear to be the next step in the competition's evolution.

Coverage of all the major events including the Grand Finals has been superb. That event was shown live on Sky Sports, as well.  

Next year's tournament schedule is yet to be announced. The online qualification process with 40 game weekends in the FUT weekend league has been the most direct route to the finals. It's a hard ask for anyone who isn’t a professional. Changes in eligibility for the weekend league have changed.

In terms of the real big hitters, Dota, LoL, COD and CS are all still a long way ahead of FIFA in terms of their overall package. However, FIFA and Madden have both grown leaps and bound, proving EA are doing something right in this market. 

FIFA 19 details are being released week on week. The game is due out in September. As an esport, the game has come a long way this year. Hopefully, it will progress even further over the lifespan of FIFA 19.

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Simon Hahn

Lifelong sufferer following Darlington FC from League Two to the Northern League. Freelance Sports and data journalist. Living for 3pm on Saturday.

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