Last weekend, 40 players represented 20 different teams in the 2018-2019 Premier League at the first ePremier League Champions contest.
The new tournament, one of a number of domestic-based tournaments to be played on FIFA 19 this year, saw each of the 20 Premier League teams host its own qualifying competition prior to the event. From this open qualifier, two players went forward to the finals in London, one for PS4 and one for Xbox.
While there were two distinct tournaments running throughout the finals, the winners of both the Xbox and PS4 events then met in a two-legged final. The winner on aggregate of that game was crowned the inaugural ePremier League champion.
After an exciting event, Donovan “F2Tekkz” Hunt, who was representing Liverpool on the Xbox, claimed victory. Let’s recap further.
How the tournaments unfolded
PlayStation 4 tournament
Eight players qualified from the four groups. The eight players that made it through the group stage were:
- Damie (Crystal Palace – Group A Winner)
- KyleLees (Man Utd – Group A Runner-Up)
- Jas1875 (Chelsea – Group B Winner)
- LukasMcilwee (Cardiff – Group B Runner-Up)
- Deto (Man City – Group C Winner)
- Croftyboy925 (Huddersfield – Group C Runner-Up)
- Venny (Southampton – Group D Winner)
- Paps (Arsenal – Group D Runner-Up)
The quarterfinals saw only one upset in terms of seeding. In the first game, Crystal Palace continued their dominant run with a 4-1 victory over Huddersfield. Then, Chelsea edged out Arsenal 4-3 in a thrilling overtime match. Southampton also progressed with a 3-1 win over Cardiff. But one of the four top seeds in Manchester City went out, losing a derby clash to Manchester United 1-0.
United’s PS4 player, Kyle Leese, continued his fine run of form with a 2-1 win over the much fancied Southampton player Vinny in the second semifinal.
The Playstation Final was a tough contest. In the end, the better defending of Leese yielded a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Chelsea.
The qualifiers from the Xbox tournament on Day One were as follows:
- iBattle Cat (Manchester City – Group A Winner)
- F2Tekkz (Liverpool – Group A Runner-Up)
- Lyricz (Tottenham – Group B Winner)
- Marc Marley (Bournemouth – Group B Runner-Up)
- Rusher7x (Southampton – Group C Winner)
- Tass (Arsenal – Group C Runner-Up)
- Jonesy17FIFA (Man Utd – Group D Winner)
- SCP Diogo (Fulham – Group D Runner-Up)
In the first quarterfinal, Arsenal moved into the semis with a 2-0 win over Manchester City. Fulham and Tottenham drew 1-1 after extra time. That game was settled 5-4 on penalties in favour of Fulham. Liverpool smoothly progressed into the semis with a comprehensive 6-3 win over Southampton. The last quarter was also high-scoring with Manchester United earning a 6-4 win over Bournemouth.
The first semifinal saw Fulham earn a narrow 2-1 win over Arsenal to claim a place in the final. Meanwhile, F2Tekkz continued his dominant run of form with a 5-1 thumping of Manchester United.
However, in the final, the top-ranked FIFA player in the world was pushed all the way by SCP Diogo. His Fulham team held Liverpool 3-3 in normal time. It was only a single strike in extra time that decided the match in favour of the Reds.
The Grand Final
Starting on supposedly F2Tekkz’s weakest console, the PS4, the FIFA 19 ace roared out to a 3-0 lead against Kyle Leese’s Manchester United. Leese did manage to pull a goal back, but Liverpool’s star man added a fourth to put himself in a commanding position ahead of the second leg on Xbox.
In the second game, it was a tighter affair. But an early goal for Liverpool saw them lead 5-1 on aggregate. The game was effectively over from then on. Both players scored one more goal in the remaining time for a 2-1 win for Liverpool and a 6-2 win on aggregate.
Sky Sports broadcasted the event live, giving esports fans another chance to see a top FIFA tournament on one of the premier sports channels in the UK.
That said, with the organisers not yet making a full commitment for another ePremier League next year (although I feel the success of this tournament makes that very likely), this was a good tournament for both players and fans alike. It was fitting that the world’s best FIFA player, according to the rankings on Xbox, took home the title.
Image credit: Naomi Baker / Staff / Getty