It is fair to say that with China, Japan, and South Korea the dominant forces in East Asian esports, Thailand may not be top of everyone’s list when it comes to producing esports champions. However, that has now changed thanks to Purple Mood’s outstanding victory at the inaugural FIFA eContinental Cup.
Ahead of the tournament, the FIFA betting markets may well have not known an awful lot about the trio of Thai players, “PLMxTANTAY”, “PLMxBRIGHT777” and “PLMxBAS69” who formed the Purple Mood team, but after such a stunning victory, their stock has undoubtedly risen.
Competing against teams from China, Vietnam, South Korea as well as their native Thailand, Purple Moon came through the tournament’s three stages against a total of 15 other teams to claim the US$100,000 top prize and the title of the first FIFA eContinental Cup Champion.
Creation of the eContinental Cup
While FIFA enjoys huge popularity across Europe, North America, Australia and parts of Asia and Africa, the East Asian region was one which lacked a driving force to inspire more teams to compete in the region. As a result, the FIFA eContinental Cup was created to encourage teams to compete and participate.
With a potential market of millions of FIFA players in the region, the tournament began with an online qualifier, where teams earned points throughout the qualification process to earn a place in the main tournament. This was a very competitive part of the tournament with just 16 teams out of all those that entered making it into the Group Stages.
After the Group Stages, the 16 teams competing were whittled down further to just eight who qualified for the Knockout Stage. Over a series of knockout matches, these two teams were further narrowed down to the two finalists, Purple Moon, and their South Korean opponents SANDBOX.
Purple Mood’s Progress
After qualifying for the Group Stage, Purple Mood were the winners of Group A, amassing 14 points from their nine games to finish top of a very tight group. In the Group A semifinals, they bettered Group B winners FaZe Clan and then went on to defeat Afreeca 2-1 in the Winner’s Finals. Afreeca joined them along with T1 and SANDBOX in the Finals of the tournament.
Purple Mood defeated Afreeca 3-1 in the first semifinal of the Finals, while SANDBOX were 3-1 winners over T1, which set up a best of five final. SANDBOX raced into a 2-0 lead in the final, winning the first two games between the teams 2-1, but three 1-0 victories for Purple Mood in the final three games saw them claw back the deficit and then clinch the win.
Speaking about the tournament, the Head of eFootball at FIFA, Adrian Rolli, commented:
“As we are continuously looking for new and exciting ways to engage with the global FIFA e-community we are grateful to host such a competition despite the challenging circumstances. The incredible passion shown by the competitors and fans made the event a special occasion in these times.”
“Congratulations to Purple Mood Esport who played at an exceptional level in the most competitive field of participants. The team truly deserves the brightest spotlight backed by millions of amazing fans who tuned in during the event.”
Piotr Pilich, the Deputy Commissioner of FIFA Online 4 at EA also commented:
“We are excited to see the hard work of our competitors throughout a very challenging season come to fruition in such spectacular fashion, in the largest FIFA Online 4 competition to date.”
EA have announced that information about qualifying and the format of next season’s tournament will be posted online early in 2021.
Featured Image Credits: FIFA online 4 Thailand