esports

Home advantage

Post-match analysis of EA SPORTS’ Stay and Play Cup, courtesy of a couple of Champions Journal gaming gurus

It will be a while before we see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, João Félix, Phil Foden and Vinícius Jr back out on the pitch, but esports enthusiasts got a glimpse of their gaming talents last week in the Stay and Play Cup. The 20-player tournament pitted some of the real game’s best against each other in the FIFA 20 arena, with FC Copenhagen’s Mo Damary coming out on top against Djurgården’s Jesper Karlström. We asked two of our resident gamers – Z (José Macena) and G (Guilhem Boujassy) – to give us the lowdown on the action.

The set-up

Z: They seemed like normal people, just like any of us that play FIFA for fun at home. Some of them have a bit more of a dedicated space than others, either with a room just for gaming or a set-up with a couple of TVs, club shirts and memorabilia. The nice thing was that all the teams were 85 rated so there was no unevenness. I’m a Benfica fan so I was supporting Félix – but he didn’t play that well.

G: Some players had the proper gaming studios with chairs and stuff; you could see who was taking it to another level and taking gaming seriously. Trent was just on his couch and watching on the TV. That makes a big difference. It’s better to play on a 24in monitor than an actual TV as that way you see details more quickly.  


Playing styles

G: Trent was good, particularly offensively. He knew what to do, attacking down the wings. He was really strong defending down the sides as well, like he plays in real life. Both his full-backs were really well positioned every time. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but I like to imagine that him being good in that position in real life means he’s also good there in the game. In the big Real Madrid v Liverpool match up Vinícius got beaten quite easily – Trent dominated.

Z: There were some similarities between players’ styles in the game and real life. Félix always seemed to be attacking and left the defence open; all his defenders were super attacking. He started losing by 3-0 or 4-0 so maybe that’s why he had to attack more. César Azpilicueta seemed stronger defensively.

G: I was actually surprised by the levels of the players. I thought I would be able to beat Trent at FIFA, but he was great. And not just him. I watched from the round of 16 and saw Félix and Lyon’s Bruno Guimarães, though that wasn’t the greatest game because Guimarães was much better. Even the pro esports player who was helping with the broadcast, Tundra Msdossary, seemed impressed – though obviously he would have beaten them all. Mo Daramy, the winner, impressed me most. He was an underdog and nobody expected him to go that far. His offence was really good; he played more with instinct than with a game plan which is interesting to watch.

Mo Daramy celebrates his Stay and Play Cup triumph


Celebrations

Z: Some of the players were quite serious, but others like Nabil Bahoui of AIK celebrated when they scored as if it was a normal game. He was doing celebrations to the camera – first he did a Dybala celebration, then he cupped his ear as if he was shutting people up.

G: In real life you have the time to celebrate then get back on with the game, but in FIFA you can get very nervous. The games are very quick and you have to hold your nerve. 

Z: You could see that some of the players had friends with them; I think Félix had one of his brothers with him, so you could see them speaking when he let in a goal. In the final Jesper Karlström was on the phone during the breaks in the game – I think he was posting on social media. It was nice to be able to see the players on the side of the screen while the game was going on, to get their reactions.


Overall impressions

G: It was well organised, really well done. Having just organised a tournament myself, I know how complicated it is, though I guess it’s easier if you are EA rather than Guilhem to get players like Trent Alexander-Arnold involved! It looked really smooth. They had presenters and guests and really did a proper broadcasting job. Ian Wright helped present the final and he was definitely into it and brought plenty of enthusiasm. In esports there’s an opportunity to go a bit a crazy and less conventional in the broadcasting and he brought some of that.  

It was interesting that the semi-finals were an all-Scandinavian affair. Those countries have been dominating esports in Europe. They have a culture of Lans, which are physical events that people watch live. When esports becomes as big as it can be – it’s going to be huge, we’re not there yet – Scandinavians are going to be the ones leading it. And not just in FIFA but in many other games.

The Stay and Play Cup was hosted by EA SPORTS, who donated $1m to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. It was streamed live on YouTube and Twitch.

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.

It will be a while before we see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, João Félix, Phil Foden and Vinícius Jr back out on the pitch, but esports enthusiasts got a glimpse of their gaming talents last week in the Stay and Play Cup. The 20-player tournament pitted some of the real game’s best against each other in the FIFA 20 arena, with FC Copenhagen’s Mo Damary coming out on top against Djurgården’s Jesper Karlström. We asked two of our resident gamers – Z (José Macena) and G (Guilhem Boujassy) – to give us the lowdown on the action.

The set-up

Z: They seemed like normal people, just like any of us that play FIFA for fun at home. Some of them have a bit more of a dedicated space than others, either with a room just for gaming or a set-up with a couple of TVs, club shirts and memorabilia. The nice thing was that all the teams were 85 rated so there was no unevenness. I’m a Benfica fan so I was supporting Félix – but he didn’t play that well.

G: Some players had the proper gaming studios with chairs and stuff; you could see who was taking it to another level and taking gaming seriously. Trent was just on his couch and watching on the TV. That makes a big difference. It’s better to play on a 24in monitor than an actual TV as that way you see details more quickly.  


Playing styles

G: Trent was good, particularly offensively. He knew what to do, attacking down the wings. He was really strong defending down the sides as well, like he plays in real life. Both his full-backs were really well positioned every time. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but I like to imagine that him being good in that position in real life means he’s also good there in the game. In the big Real Madrid v Liverpool match up Vinícius got beaten quite easily – Trent dominated.

Z: There were some similarities between players’ styles in the game and real life. Félix always seemed to be attacking and left the defence open; all his defenders were super attacking. He started losing by 3-0 or 4-0 so maybe that’s why he had to attack more. César Azpilicueta seemed stronger defensively.

G: I was actually surprised by the levels of the players. I thought I would be able to beat Trent at FIFA, but he was great. And not just him. I watched from the round of 16 and saw Félix and Lyon’s Bruno Guimarães, though that wasn’t the greatest game because Guimarães was much better. Even the pro esports player who was helping with the broadcast, Tundra Msdossary, seemed impressed – though obviously he would have beaten them all. Mo Daramy, the winner, impressed me most. He was an underdog and nobody expected him to go that far. His offence was really good; he played more with instinct than with a game plan which is interesting to watch.

Mo Daramy celebrates his Stay and Play Cup triumph


Celebrations

Z: Some of the players were quite serious, but others like Nabil Bahoui of AIK celebrated when they scored as if it was a normal game. He was doing celebrations to the camera – first he did a Dybala celebration, then he cupped his ear as if he was shutting people up.

G: In real life you have the time to celebrate then get back on with the game, but in FIFA you can get very nervous. The games are very quick and you have to hold your nerve. 

Z: You could see that some of the players had friends with them; I think Félix had one of his brothers with him, so you could see them speaking when he let in a goal. In the final Jesper Karlström was on the phone during the breaks in the game – I think he was posting on social media. It was nice to be able to see the players on the side of the screen while the game was going on, to get their reactions.


Overall impressions

G: It was well organised, really well done. Having just organised a tournament myself, I know how complicated it is, though I guess it’s easier if you are EA rather than Guilhem to get players like Trent Alexander-Arnold involved! It looked really smooth. They had presenters and guests and really did a proper broadcasting job. Ian Wright helped present the final and he was definitely into it and brought plenty of enthusiasm. In esports there’s an opportunity to go a bit a crazy and less conventional in the broadcasting and he brought some of that.  

It was interesting that the semi-finals were an all-Scandinavian affair. Those countries have been dominating esports in Europe. They have a culture of Lans, which are physical events that people watch live. When esports becomes as big as it can be – it’s going to be huge, we’re not there yet – Scandinavians are going to be the ones leading it. And not just in FIFA but in many other games.

The Stay and Play Cup was hosted by EA SPORTS, who donated $1m to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. It was streamed live on YouTube and Twitch.

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!

It will be a while before we see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, João Félix, Phil Foden and Vinícius Jr back out on the pitch, but esports enthusiasts got a glimpse of their gaming talents last week in the Stay and Play Cup. The 20-player tournament pitted some of the real game’s best against each other in the FIFA 20 arena, with FC Copenhagen’s Mo Damary coming out on top against Djurgården’s Jesper Karlström. We asked two of our resident gamers – Z (José Macena) and G (Guilhem Boujassy) – to give us the lowdown on the action.

The set-up

Z: They seemed like normal people, just like any of us that play FIFA for fun at home. Some of them have a bit more of a dedicated space than others, either with a room just for gaming or a set-up with a couple of TVs, club shirts and memorabilia. The nice thing was that all the teams were 85 rated so there was no unevenness. I’m a Benfica fan so I was supporting Félix – but he didn’t play that well.

G: Some players had the proper gaming studios with chairs and stuff; you could see who was taking it to another level and taking gaming seriously. Trent was just on his couch and watching on the TV. That makes a big difference. It’s better to play on a 24in monitor than an actual TV as that way you see details more quickly.  


Playing styles

G: Trent was good, particularly offensively. He knew what to do, attacking down the wings. He was really strong defending down the sides as well, like he plays in real life. Both his full-backs were really well positioned every time. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but I like to imagine that him being good in that position in real life means he’s also good there in the game. In the big Real Madrid v Liverpool match up Vinícius got beaten quite easily – Trent dominated.

Z: There were some similarities between players’ styles in the game and real life. Félix always seemed to be attacking and left the defence open; all his defenders were super attacking. He started losing by 3-0 or 4-0 so maybe that’s why he had to attack more. César Azpilicueta seemed stronger defensively.

G: I was actually surprised by the levels of the players. I thought I would be able to beat Trent at FIFA, but he was great. And not just him. I watched from the round of 16 and saw Félix and Lyon’s Bruno Guimarães, though that wasn’t the greatest game because Guimarães was much better. Even the pro esports player who was helping with the broadcast, Tundra Msdossary, seemed impressed – though obviously he would have beaten them all. Mo Daramy, the winner, impressed me most. He was an underdog and nobody expected him to go that far. His offence was really good; he played more with instinct than with a game plan which is interesting to watch.

Mo Daramy celebrates his Stay and Play Cup triumph


Celebrations

Z: Some of the players were quite serious, but others like Nabil Bahoui of AIK celebrated when they scored as if it was a normal game. He was doing celebrations to the camera – first he did a Dybala celebration, then he cupped his ear as if he was shutting people up.

G: In real life you have the time to celebrate then get back on with the game, but in FIFA you can get very nervous. The games are very quick and you have to hold your nerve. 

Z: You could see that some of the players had friends with them; I think Félix had one of his brothers with him, so you could see them speaking when he let in a goal. In the final Jesper Karlström was on the phone during the breaks in the game – I think he was posting on social media. It was nice to be able to see the players on the side of the screen while the game was going on, to get their reactions.


Overall impressions

G: It was well organised, really well done. Having just organised a tournament myself, I know how complicated it is, though I guess it’s easier if you are EA rather than Guilhem to get players like Trent Alexander-Arnold involved! It looked really smooth. They had presenters and guests and really did a proper broadcasting job. Ian Wright helped present the final and he was definitely into it and brought plenty of enthusiasm. In esports there’s an opportunity to go a bit a crazy and less conventional in the broadcasting and he brought some of that.  

It was interesting that the semi-finals were an all-Scandinavian affair. Those countries have been dominating esports in Europe. They have a culture of Lans, which are physical events that people watch live. When esports becomes as big as it can be – it’s going to be huge, we’re not there yet – Scandinavians are going to be the ones leading it. And not just in FIFA but in many other games.

The Stay and Play Cup was hosted by EA SPORTS, who donated $1m to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. It was streamed live on YouTube and Twitch.

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.

esports

Home advantage

Post-match analysis of EA SPORTS’ Stay and Play Cup, courtesy of a couple of Champions Journal gaming gurus

It will be a while before we see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, João Félix, Phil Foden and Vinícius Jr back out on the pitch, but esports enthusiasts got a glimpse of their gaming talents last week in the Stay and Play Cup. The 20-player tournament pitted some of the real game’s best against each other in the FIFA 20 arena, with FC Copenhagen’s Mo Damary coming out on top against Djurgården’s Jesper Karlström. We asked two of our resident gamers – Z (José Macena) and G (Guilhem Boujassy) – to give us the lowdown on the action.

The set-up

Z: They seemed like normal people, just like any of us that play FIFA for fun at home. Some of them have a bit more of a dedicated space than others, either with a room just for gaming or a set-up with a couple of TVs, club shirts and memorabilia. The nice thing was that all the teams were 85 rated so there was no unevenness. I’m a Benfica fan so I was supporting Félix – but he didn’t play that well.

G: Some players had the proper gaming studios with chairs and stuff; you could see who was taking it to another level and taking gaming seriously. Trent was just on his couch and watching on the TV. That makes a big difference. It’s better to play on a 24in monitor than an actual TV as that way you see details more quickly.  


Playing styles

G: Trent was good, particularly offensively. He knew what to do, attacking down the wings. He was really strong defending down the sides as well, like he plays in real life. Both his full-backs were really well positioned every time. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but I like to imagine that him being good in that position in real life means he’s also good there in the game. In the big Real Madrid v Liverpool match up Vinícius got beaten quite easily – Trent dominated.

Z: There were some similarities between players’ styles in the game and real life. Félix always seemed to be attacking and left the defence open; all his defenders were super attacking. He started losing by 3-0 or 4-0 so maybe that’s why he had to attack more. César Azpilicueta seemed stronger defensively.

G: I was actually surprised by the levels of the players. I thought I would be able to beat Trent at FIFA, but he was great. And not just him. I watched from the round of 16 and saw Félix and Lyon’s Bruno Guimarães, though that wasn’t the greatest game because Guimarães was much better. Even the pro esports player who was helping with the broadcast, Tundra Msdossary, seemed impressed – though obviously he would have beaten them all. Mo Daramy, the winner, impressed me most. He was an underdog and nobody expected him to go that far. His offence was really good; he played more with instinct than with a game plan which is interesting to watch.

Mo Daramy celebrates his Stay and Play Cup triumph


Celebrations

Z: Some of the players were quite serious, but others like Nabil Bahoui of AIK celebrated when they scored as if it was a normal game. He was doing celebrations to the camera – first he did a Dybala celebration, then he cupped his ear as if he was shutting people up.

G: In real life you have the time to celebrate then get back on with the game, but in FIFA you can get very nervous. The games are very quick and you have to hold your nerve. 

Z: You could see that some of the players had friends with them; I think Félix had one of his brothers with him, so you could see them speaking when he let in a goal. In the final Jesper Karlström was on the phone during the breaks in the game – I think he was posting on social media. It was nice to be able to see the players on the side of the screen while the game was going on, to get their reactions.


Overall impressions

G: It was well organised, really well done. Having just organised a tournament myself, I know how complicated it is, though I guess it’s easier if you are EA rather than Guilhem to get players like Trent Alexander-Arnold involved! It looked really smooth. They had presenters and guests and really did a proper broadcasting job. Ian Wright helped present the final and he was definitely into it and brought plenty of enthusiasm. In esports there’s an opportunity to go a bit a crazy and less conventional in the broadcasting and he brought some of that.  

It was interesting that the semi-finals were an all-Scandinavian affair. Those countries have been dominating esports in Europe. They have a culture of Lans, which are physical events that people watch live. When esports becomes as big as it can be – it’s going to be huge, we’re not there yet – Scandinavians are going to be the ones leading it. And not just in FIFA but in many other games.

The Stay and Play Cup was hosted by EA SPORTS, who donated $1m to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. It was streamed live on YouTube and Twitch.

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.

It will be a while before we see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, João Félix, Phil Foden and Vinícius Jr back out on the pitch, but esports enthusiasts got a glimpse of their gaming talents last week in the Stay and Play Cup. The 20-player tournament pitted some of the real game’s best against each other in the FIFA 20 arena, with FC Copenhagen’s Mo Damary coming out on top against Djurgården’s Jesper Karlström. We asked two of our resident gamers – Z (José Macena) and G (Guilhem Boujassy) – to give us the lowdown on the action.

The set-up

Z: They seemed like normal people, just like any of us that play FIFA for fun at home. Some of them have a bit more of a dedicated space than others, either with a room just for gaming or a set-up with a couple of TVs, club shirts and memorabilia. The nice thing was that all the teams were 85 rated so there was no unevenness. I’m a Benfica fan so I was supporting Félix – but he didn’t play that well.

G: Some players had the proper gaming studios with chairs and stuff; you could see who was taking it to another level and taking gaming seriously. Trent was just on his couch and watching on the TV. That makes a big difference. It’s better to play on a 24in monitor than an actual TV as that way you see details more quickly.  


Playing styles

G: Trent was good, particularly offensively. He knew what to do, attacking down the wings. He was really strong defending down the sides as well, like he plays in real life. Both his full-backs were really well positioned every time. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but I like to imagine that him being good in that position in real life means he’s also good there in the game. In the big Real Madrid v Liverpool match up Vinícius got beaten quite easily – Trent dominated.

Z: There were some similarities between players’ styles in the game and real life. Félix always seemed to be attacking and left the defence open; all his defenders were super attacking. He started losing by 3-0 or 4-0 so maybe that’s why he had to attack more. César Azpilicueta seemed stronger defensively.

G: I was actually surprised by the levels of the players. I thought I would be able to beat Trent at FIFA, but he was great. And not just him. I watched from the round of 16 and saw Félix and Lyon’s Bruno Guimarães, though that wasn’t the greatest game because Guimarães was much better. Even the pro esports player who was helping with the broadcast, Tundra Msdossary, seemed impressed – though obviously he would have beaten them all. Mo Daramy, the winner, impressed me most. He was an underdog and nobody expected him to go that far. His offence was really good; he played more with instinct than with a game plan which is interesting to watch.

Mo Daramy celebrates his Stay and Play Cup triumph


Celebrations

Z: Some of the players were quite serious, but others like Nabil Bahoui of AIK celebrated when they scored as if it was a normal game. He was doing celebrations to the camera – first he did a Dybala celebration, then he cupped his ear as if he was shutting people up.

G: In real life you have the time to celebrate then get back on with the game, but in FIFA you can get very nervous. The games are very quick and you have to hold your nerve. 

Z: You could see that some of the players had friends with them; I think Félix had one of his brothers with him, so you could see them speaking when he let in a goal. In the final Jesper Karlström was on the phone during the breaks in the game – I think he was posting on social media. It was nice to be able to see the players on the side of the screen while the game was going on, to get their reactions.


Overall impressions

G: It was well organised, really well done. Having just organised a tournament myself, I know how complicated it is, though I guess it’s easier if you are EA rather than Guilhem to get players like Trent Alexander-Arnold involved! It looked really smooth. They had presenters and guests and really did a proper broadcasting job. Ian Wright helped present the final and he was definitely into it and brought plenty of enthusiasm. In esports there’s an opportunity to go a bit a crazy and less conventional in the broadcasting and he brought some of that.  

It was interesting that the semi-finals were an all-Scandinavian affair. Those countries have been dominating esports in Europe. They have a culture of Lans, which are physical events that people watch live. When esports becomes as big as it can be – it’s going to be huge, we’re not there yet – Scandinavians are going to be the ones leading it. And not just in FIFA but in many other games.

The Stay and Play Cup was hosted by EA SPORTS, who donated $1m to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. It was streamed live on YouTube and Twitch.

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!

It will be a while before we see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, João Félix, Phil Foden and Vinícius Jr back out on the pitch, but esports enthusiasts got a glimpse of their gaming talents last week in the Stay and Play Cup. The 20-player tournament pitted some of the real game’s best against each other in the FIFA 20 arena, with FC Copenhagen’s Mo Damary coming out on top against Djurgården’s Jesper Karlström. We asked two of our resident gamers – Z (José Macena) and G (Guilhem Boujassy) – to give us the lowdown on the action.

The set-up

Z: They seemed like normal people, just like any of us that play FIFA for fun at home. Some of them have a bit more of a dedicated space than others, either with a room just for gaming or a set-up with a couple of TVs, club shirts and memorabilia. The nice thing was that all the teams were 85 rated so there was no unevenness. I’m a Benfica fan so I was supporting Félix – but he didn’t play that well.

G: Some players had the proper gaming studios with chairs and stuff; you could see who was taking it to another level and taking gaming seriously. Trent was just on his couch and watching on the TV. That makes a big difference. It’s better to play on a 24in monitor than an actual TV as that way you see details more quickly.  


Playing styles

G: Trent was good, particularly offensively. He knew what to do, attacking down the wings. He was really strong defending down the sides as well, like he plays in real life. Both his full-backs were really well positioned every time. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but I like to imagine that him being good in that position in real life means he’s also good there in the game. In the big Real Madrid v Liverpool match up Vinícius got beaten quite easily – Trent dominated.

Z: There were some similarities between players’ styles in the game and real life. Félix always seemed to be attacking and left the defence open; all his defenders were super attacking. He started losing by 3-0 or 4-0 so maybe that’s why he had to attack more. César Azpilicueta seemed stronger defensively.

G: I was actually surprised by the levels of the players. I thought I would be able to beat Trent at FIFA, but he was great. And not just him. I watched from the round of 16 and saw Félix and Lyon’s Bruno Guimarães, though that wasn’t the greatest game because Guimarães was much better. Even the pro esports player who was helping with the broadcast, Tundra Msdossary, seemed impressed – though obviously he would have beaten them all. Mo Daramy, the winner, impressed me most. He was an underdog and nobody expected him to go that far. His offence was really good; he played more with instinct than with a game plan which is interesting to watch.

Mo Daramy celebrates his Stay and Play Cup triumph


Celebrations

Z: Some of the players were quite serious, but others like Nabil Bahoui of AIK celebrated when they scored as if it was a normal game. He was doing celebrations to the camera – first he did a Dybala celebration, then he cupped his ear as if he was shutting people up.

G: In real life you have the time to celebrate then get back on with the game, but in FIFA you can get very nervous. The games are very quick and you have to hold your nerve. 

Z: You could see that some of the players had friends with them; I think Félix had one of his brothers with him, so you could see them speaking when he let in a goal. In the final Jesper Karlström was on the phone during the breaks in the game – I think he was posting on social media. It was nice to be able to see the players on the side of the screen while the game was going on, to get their reactions.


Overall impressions

G: It was well organised, really well done. Having just organised a tournament myself, I know how complicated it is, though I guess it’s easier if you are EA rather than Guilhem to get players like Trent Alexander-Arnold involved! It looked really smooth. They had presenters and guests and really did a proper broadcasting job. Ian Wright helped present the final and he was definitely into it and brought plenty of enthusiasm. In esports there’s an opportunity to go a bit a crazy and less conventional in the broadcasting and he brought some of that.  

It was interesting that the semi-finals were an all-Scandinavian affair. Those countries have been dominating esports in Europe. They have a culture of Lans, which are physical events that people watch live. When esports becomes as big as it can be – it’s going to be huge, we’re not there yet – Scandinavians are going to be the ones leading it. And not just in FIFA but in many other games.

The Stay and Play Cup was hosted by EA SPORTS, who donated $1m to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. It was streamed live on YouTube and Twitch.

Penalty Pedigree

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