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Fun and games

The winner of the 2022 eChampions League has been decided – and CJ was in Stockholm to witness the action unfold

WORDS Philip O'Connor

The audience veered between respectful silence and wild cheering and clapping as the drama unfolded; for online viewers, there were enough TV cameras around the main stage to show every move and facial expression from the competitors as they sought to outwit each other. And whether they were at Stockholm’s Space Arena or watching from afar, everyone got to experience some stunning goals and superb action at the sparkling new venue in the heart of the Swedish capital.

The arena has been specifically built with elite e-sports in mind, and it provided the perfect backdrop to this prestigious competition. There was a thrilling climax to the 2022 eChampions League final, as Nicolas ‘nicolas99fc’ Villalba defeated Mattias Bonano, a fellow Argentine. Villaba came roaring back from a poor start in the final showdown – a 3-1 loss in the first leg – to win the second leg 7-0 and claim the crown. It also meant he walked away with prize money of just under €70,000.

Given the result of the Champions League final out on the pitch the following day, Villalba might claim his victory was a good omen: “I was using the Real Madrid kit in the game and, like them, I never gave up and made the comeback," he said after his win. In addition, the trophy came his way courtesy of a former Real hero, presented by none other than Kaká. The Brazilian was one of four legends in attendance, with Fernando Morientes, Ashley Cole and local favourite Henrik Larsson rounding out the quartet.

There was a good-natured atmosphere between the e-sports athletes and the four icons of the game. And the former players – all Champions League winners themselves – even engaged in a special mini-tournament of their own, assisted by fans and coached by e-sports influencers in what quickly became highly competitive games. Morientes defeated Larsson to set up a final meeting with Cole, who had emerged victorious from his battle with Kaká. Cole put in a performance that suggested it wasn’t his first time in control of a virtual team, dusting off Morientes’ side en route to a comfortable 2-1 win, before heading up a short flight of stairs to the commentary booth to provide some expert analysis on the decider.

Many of those in attendance took the chance to get a picture with those icons of the game. But by the end, Villalba and his fellow competitors had clearly stolen the show with their intense concentration and lightning-fast reflexes, winning plenty of new fans in the process.

The audience veered between respectful silence and wild cheering and clapping as the drama unfolded; for online viewers, there were enough TV cameras around the main stage to show every move and facial expression from the competitors as they sought to outwit each other. And whether they were at Stockholm’s Space Arena or watching from afar, everyone got to experience some stunning goals and superb action at the sparkling new venue in the heart of the Swedish capital.

The arena has been specifically built with elite e-sports in mind, and it provided the perfect backdrop to this prestigious competition. There was a thrilling climax to the 2022 eChampions League final, as Nicolas ‘nicolas99fc’ Villalba defeated Mattias Bonano, a fellow Argentine. Villaba came roaring back from a poor start in the final showdown – a 3-1 loss in the first leg – to win the second leg 7-0 and claim the crown. It also meant he walked away with prize money of just under €70,000.

Given the result of the Champions League final out on the pitch the following day, Villalba might claim his victory was a good omen: “I was using the Real Madrid kit in the game and, like them, I never gave up and made the comeback," he said after his win. In addition, the trophy came his way courtesy of a former Real hero, presented by none other than Kaká. The Brazilian was one of four legends in attendance, with Fernando Morientes, Ashley Cole and local favourite Henrik Larsson rounding out the quartet.

There was a good-natured atmosphere between the e-sports athletes and the four icons of the game. And the former players – all Champions League winners themselves – even engaged in a special mini-tournament of their own, assisted by fans and coached by e-sports influencers in what quickly became highly competitive games. Morientes defeated Larsson to set up a final meeting with Cole, who had emerged victorious from his battle with Kaká. Cole put in a performance that suggested it wasn’t his first time in control of a virtual team, dusting off Morientes’ side en route to a comfortable 2-1 win, before heading up a short flight of stairs to the commentary booth to provide some expert analysis on the decider.

Many of those in attendance took the chance to get a picture with those icons of the game. But by the end, Villalba and his fellow competitors had clearly stolen the show with their intense concentration and lightning-fast reflexes, winning plenty of new fans in the process.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

The audience veered between respectful silence and wild cheering and clapping as the drama unfolded; for online viewers, there were enough TV cameras around the main stage to show every move and facial expression from the competitors as they sought to outwit each other. And whether they were at Stockholm’s Space Arena or watching from afar, everyone got to experience some stunning goals and superb action at the sparkling new venue in the heart of the Swedish capital.

The arena has been specifically built with elite e-sports in mind, and it provided the perfect backdrop to this prestigious competition. There was a thrilling climax to the 2022 eChampions League final, as Nicolas ‘nicolas99fc’ Villalba defeated Mattias Bonano, a fellow Argentine. Villaba came roaring back from a poor start in the final showdown – a 3-1 loss in the first leg – to win the second leg 7-0 and claim the crown. It also meant he walked away with prize money of just under €70,000.

Given the result of the Champions League final out on the pitch the following day, Villalba might claim his victory was a good omen: “I was using the Real Madrid kit in the game and, like them, I never gave up and made the comeback," he said after his win. In addition, the trophy came his way courtesy of a former Real hero, presented by none other than Kaká. The Brazilian was one of four legends in attendance, with Fernando Morientes, Ashley Cole and local favourite Henrik Larsson rounding out the quartet.

There was a good-natured atmosphere between the e-sports athletes and the four icons of the game. And the former players – all Champions League winners themselves – even engaged in a special mini-tournament of their own, assisted by fans and coached by e-sports influencers in what quickly became highly competitive games. Morientes defeated Larsson to set up a final meeting with Cole, who had emerged victorious from his battle with Kaká. Cole put in a performance that suggested it wasn’t his first time in control of a virtual team, dusting off Morientes’ side en route to a comfortable 2-1 win, before heading up a short flight of stairs to the commentary booth to provide some expert analysis on the decider.

Many of those in attendance took the chance to get a picture with those icons of the game. But by the end, Villalba and his fellow competitors had clearly stolen the show with their intense concentration and lightning-fast reflexes, winning plenty of new fans in the process.

Fun and games
esports

Fun and games

The winner of the 2022 eChampions League has been decided – and CJ was in Stockholm to witness the action unfold

WORDS Philip O'Connor

The audience veered between respectful silence and wild cheering and clapping as the drama unfolded; for online viewers, there were enough TV cameras around the main stage to show every move and facial expression from the competitors as they sought to outwit each other. And whether they were at Stockholm’s Space Arena or watching from afar, everyone got to experience some stunning goals and superb action at the sparkling new venue in the heart of the Swedish capital.

The arena has been specifically built with elite e-sports in mind, and it provided the perfect backdrop to this prestigious competition. There was a thrilling climax to the 2022 eChampions League final, as Nicolas ‘nicolas99fc’ Villalba defeated Mattias Bonano, a fellow Argentine. Villaba came roaring back from a poor start in the final showdown – a 3-1 loss in the first leg – to win the second leg 7-0 and claim the crown. It also meant he walked away with prize money of just under €70,000.

Given the result of the Champions League final out on the pitch the following day, Villalba might claim his victory was a good omen: “I was using the Real Madrid kit in the game and, like them, I never gave up and made the comeback," he said after his win. In addition, the trophy came his way courtesy of a former Real hero, presented by none other than Kaká. The Brazilian was one of four legends in attendance, with Fernando Morientes, Ashley Cole and local favourite Henrik Larsson rounding out the quartet.

There was a good-natured atmosphere between the e-sports athletes and the four icons of the game. And the former players – all Champions League winners themselves – even engaged in a special mini-tournament of their own, assisted by fans and coached by e-sports influencers in what quickly became highly competitive games. Morientes defeated Larsson to set up a final meeting with Cole, who had emerged victorious from his battle with Kaká. Cole put in a performance that suggested it wasn’t his first time in control of a virtual team, dusting off Morientes’ side en route to a comfortable 2-1 win, before heading up a short flight of stairs to the commentary booth to provide some expert analysis on the decider.

Many of those in attendance took the chance to get a picture with those icons of the game. But by the end, Villalba and his fellow competitors had clearly stolen the show with their intense concentration and lightning-fast reflexes, winning plenty of new fans in the process.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

The audience veered between respectful silence and wild cheering and clapping as the drama unfolded; for online viewers, there were enough TV cameras around the main stage to show every move and facial expression from the competitors as they sought to outwit each other. And whether they were at Stockholm’s Space Arena or watching from afar, everyone got to experience some stunning goals and superb action at the sparkling new venue in the heart of the Swedish capital.

The arena has been specifically built with elite e-sports in mind, and it provided the perfect backdrop to this prestigious competition. There was a thrilling climax to the 2022 eChampions League final, as Nicolas ‘nicolas99fc’ Villalba defeated Mattias Bonano, a fellow Argentine. Villaba came roaring back from a poor start in the final showdown – a 3-1 loss in the first leg – to win the second leg 7-0 and claim the crown. It also meant he walked away with prize money of just under €70,000.

Given the result of the Champions League final out on the pitch the following day, Villalba might claim his victory was a good omen: “I was using the Real Madrid kit in the game and, like them, I never gave up and made the comeback," he said after his win. In addition, the trophy came his way courtesy of a former Real hero, presented by none other than Kaká. The Brazilian was one of four legends in attendance, with Fernando Morientes, Ashley Cole and local favourite Henrik Larsson rounding out the quartet.

There was a good-natured atmosphere between the e-sports athletes and the four icons of the game. And the former players – all Champions League winners themselves – even engaged in a special mini-tournament of their own, assisted by fans and coached by e-sports influencers in what quickly became highly competitive games. Morientes defeated Larsson to set up a final meeting with Cole, who had emerged victorious from his battle with Kaká. Cole put in a performance that suggested it wasn’t his first time in control of a virtual team, dusting off Morientes’ side en route to a comfortable 2-1 win, before heading up a short flight of stairs to the commentary booth to provide some expert analysis on the decider.

Many of those in attendance took the chance to get a picture with those icons of the game. But by the end, Villalba and his fellow competitors had clearly stolen the show with their intense concentration and lightning-fast reflexes, winning plenty of new fans in the process.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

The audience veered between respectful silence and wild cheering and clapping as the drama unfolded; for online viewers, there were enough TV cameras around the main stage to show every move and facial expression from the competitors as they sought to outwit each other. And whether they were at Stockholm’s Space Arena or watching from afar, everyone got to experience some stunning goals and superb action at the sparkling new venue in the heart of the Swedish capital.

The arena has been specifically built with elite e-sports in mind, and it provided the perfect backdrop to this prestigious competition. There was a thrilling climax to the 2022 eChampions League final, as Nicolas ‘nicolas99fc’ Villalba defeated Mattias Bonano, a fellow Argentine. Villaba came roaring back from a poor start in the final showdown – a 3-1 loss in the first leg – to win the second leg 7-0 and claim the crown. It also meant he walked away with prize money of just under €70,000.

Given the result of the Champions League final out on the pitch the following day, Villalba might claim his victory was a good omen: “I was using the Real Madrid kit in the game and, like them, I never gave up and made the comeback," he said after his win. In addition, the trophy came his way courtesy of a former Real hero, presented by none other than Kaká. The Brazilian was one of four legends in attendance, with Fernando Morientes, Ashley Cole and local favourite Henrik Larsson rounding out the quartet.

There was a good-natured atmosphere between the e-sports athletes and the four icons of the game. And the former players – all Champions League winners themselves – even engaged in a special mini-tournament of their own, assisted by fans and coached by e-sports influencers in what quickly became highly competitive games. Morientes defeated Larsson to set up a final meeting with Cole, who had emerged victorious from his battle with Kaká. Cole put in a performance that suggested it wasn’t his first time in control of a virtual team, dusting off Morientes’ side en route to a comfortable 2-1 win, before heading up a short flight of stairs to the commentary booth to provide some expert analysis on the decider.

Many of those in attendance took the chance to get a picture with those icons of the game. But by the end, Villalba and his fellow competitors had clearly stolen the show with their intense concentration and lightning-fast reflexes, winning plenty of new fans in the process.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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