Since its announcement a few months ago and the subsequent announcement of the 20 different Football Associations from around the globe that would be sending their Xbox and PlayStation 4 representatives to represent their countries, there has been huge anticipation for the start of the FIFA eNations Cup, which gets underway on April 13 with the Group Phase.
The start of this brand-new event has been even more eagerly anticipated in the UK following the success of the recent ePremier League tournament, which saw Donovan Hunt (F2Tekkz) defeat Tom Leese (FUTWIZTom) in the final. Hunt and Leese will be the two players representing England in the event, Hunt on Xbox One, where he is the highest ranked FIFA player in the world, and Leese on PlayStation 4.
England’s hopes of victory are high with Hunt already a former FIFA eClub World Cup Champion, but they will face stern competition from the representatives of each of the other 19 organisations competing to become the first ever eNations Cup champion.
Fifa eNations Cup Tournament Format
Unlike the ePremier League which had separate Xbox One and PS4 tournaments up until the Grand Final where the two winners of those tournaments battled it out over two legs, the FIFA eNations Cup will see each match between nations comprise of up to three matches. First, the two players will compete in 1v1 matches on their chosen console and then they will team up to play a 2v2 match.
England’s representatives will be facing the likes of Mosaad Al-Dossary, who is the current FIFA eWorld Cup winner and who will be playing for his native Saudi Arabia. The prize money on offer for each team is also going to be a big motivating factor for the players.
Prize Money (per team)
- 1st Place – $40,000
- 2nd Place – $20,000
- 3rd & 4th Place – $8,000
- 5th – 8th Place – $3,000
- 9th – 16th Place – $1,100
- 17th – 20th Place – $800
In addition to the cash prizes, players will also be competing for additional FIFA Global Series Points, which if they can collect enough will earn them a chance to play in the FIFA eClub World Cup tournament later in the season, which has a significantly greater prize pool available.
FIFA Global Series Points (per player)
- 1st – 1,500 Points
- 2nd – 850 Points
- 3rd & 4th – 625 Points
- 5th – 8th – 450 Points
- 9th – 16th – 275 Points
- 17th – 20th – 150 Points
The Draw for the Group Stage
The teams have been drawn into four groups of five for the Group Stage of the tournament with each team playing the other team in its group once to decide the winner.
- Group A – England, Finland, South Africa, France, Saudi Arabia
- Group B – Spain, USA, New Zealand, Mexico, China
- Group C – Germany, Norway, Sweden, Argentina, Brazil
- Group D – Portugal, Russia, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands
While in real life football, it would be Group C that is labeled the “group of death”, in esports gaming it is Group A which could well be that with some very talented French players representing France, the current FIFA eClub World Champion part of the Saudi Arabian team and the top two players from the ePremier League representing England, including a former eClub World Champion.
The top two nations in each of the four groups will progress into the Playoffs where the knockout phase will begin at the quarterfinal stage. The remaining 12 teams will be eliminated from the tournament at this point.
Fifa eNations Cup: Who is leading in the betting?
If you fancy a flutter on the tournament then you can have a bet on which of the 20 teams competing will win the tournament. Betway is offering a range of odds on the game and there will likely be plenty of other sports betting sites also offering odds on the tournament over the coming week.
The current odds for Betway are:
- England – 2/1 favourites
- Argentina, Saudi Arabia – 4/1
- Germany – 6/1
- Denmark – 8/1
- France – 10/1
- Portugal – 15/1
- Australia, Brazil, Netherlands – 20/1
- Spain, Sweden, USA – 25/1
- Finland – 33/1
- Norway – 50/1
- Mexico, Russia – 66/1
- New Zealand – 80/1
- China, South Africa – 100/1
Home advantage, as well as the strength of the English team, has them as the 2-1 favourites to win the event and it is not surprising to see Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Germany, Denmark, and France rated amongst those most likely to challenge the host nation.
England’s chances will likely rest heavily on the shoulders of Hunt more so than Leece. Hunt defeated Leece on both Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles when winning the ePremier League and although Hunt has earned his reputation chiefly playing on Xbox, his skills transfer over well on to the PS4 and he is comfortable on both consoles, as most top esports players are, only Hunt’s ability to score goals against almost any defense make him a real threat.
Leece is a more defensive-minded player than Hunt and he rarely dominated opponents and racks up huge wins, instead opting to play a more defensive, cautious game and to pick his moments to attack. It was a strategy that served him superbly well in the ePremier League of late and it is likely he will adopt similar tactics for this tournament too.
It will also be interesting to see how the two players, who are fierce rivals, one supporting Liverpool, the other Manchester United, and who are used to being in opposition to each other, will gel together as a team.
The fact that England’s team has both a dynamic attacking player, arguably the best offensive FIFA player in the world today, allied to a teammate who is defensively so good, does tend to indicate that the host nation is going to be very tough to beat on home soil.
Sky Sports have confirmed that they will once again be showing the final day of action at the eNations Cup live on their channels. As yet there is no information on which channels Live Streaming will be available on, though it seems likely that Twitch TV will be streaming the event in full.
Image credit: Dan Mullan – FIFA / Contributor / Getty