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FIFA Interactive World Cup: your ticket to the Ballon d'Or

Prateek Jose
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
News
1.62K   //    22 Dec 2012, 14:56 IST

Lights. Camera. Action!

Narrator: 17, 541, 508 matches played (so far). Guinness world record breaking 1.6 million players. A cash prize of 20, 000 USD to be won. A ticket to the Ballon d’Or ceremony thrown in for good measure. This is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s one cup to rule them all! all! all! all!

Cut! Cut! Cut!

“What on earth are you talking about, random poster whose introduction is extremely cheesy yet slightly ingenious towards the end, where successively decreasing font sizes are used to reproduce the effect of an echo in the reader’s head”, you ask.

Cool down. Take a deep breath. All will be revealed in good time.
“Tell me, tell me, tell me”, you insist. I decline.

Ok. Maybe I don’t. That would defeat the purpose of the post. So guess I’ll tell you then.

It’s the FIFA Interactive World Cup. There, I told you. Your curiosity has been piqued to unbearable limits (the aspirant writer within me hopes).”What in the name of all things FIFA is the FIFA Interactive World Cup”, you blurt out.

The Interactive World Cup is a FIFA organized virtual football tournament that gives football fans around the world an opportunity to compete at an international level and to interact with like minded people. Initiated in 2004, this tournament has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the years and in 2010, was declared by Guinness World Records as the largest online gaming tournament.

Players compete online and offline on PS3 consoles and winners advance to succeeding rounds through a league format. The competition is divided into seasons and territory showdowns, leading up to the grand final.

Season

Each online season starts at 09:00 (GMT) on the first day of each month and finishes at 8:59 (GMT) on the first day of the next month.  Points are automatically reset when a new online season kicks off .

The objective is to finish in the top two on the season’s leaderboard. The top two gamers from each online season secure tickets for the Grand Final. At the end of each season, the points total returns to zero. This ensures that everyone gets a fresh chance to qualify with every new season.

Territory Showdowns

England, Germany, France, Spain and Italy host the Territory Showdowns . The three best players from each country are joined by the preceeding year’s national champion in a live competition for a Grand Final seat. The national champion receives a berth to the  finals of this leg by default whereas the other three players play two games each to decide who takes the remaining seat. Each Territory Showdown winner will be granted a seat at the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2013 Grand Final.

Grand Finale

Reaching this stage means you’re among the football gaming elite of this planet. For the first time ever, the venue for a Grand Final was opened to public voting and involve the players in the arrangement of this year’s tournament. Madrid emerged as the crowd favourite.

Besides all the fame and honour, winners walk away with a cheque for 20,000 USD and an invitation to the exclusive FIFA Ballon d’Or jamboree.

This year, 300, 000 more players than participated in last year’s entire event have signed up, breaking the competition’s own previous world record. To commemorate this milestone, FIFA put together a few statistics comparing the FWIC with some of Europe’s top leagues. Turns out, the virtual version is becoming more and more life like in quality.

The pass success rate for the tournament comes in at about 78%, bettering the La Liga‘s 77% and coming close enough to the 81%  that the EPL manages. When it comes to defensive tackles however, the gamers have some work to do, notching up an average of 25 successful tackles per game as compared to 39% in the EPL and 43% in the La Liga.

So for all those who fancy their chances better on the console than on the pitch, the FIFA Interactive World Cup is the way to go!

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Prateek Jose
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