After a pulsating first FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Season 1 regional final in Paris, we now know the identity of the first eight players through to the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Final, to take place in Berlin from 19 to 21 May. The host nation will be well represented at this showpiece event, with four Germans having already qualified alongside two gamers apiece from France and England.
Londoner "Hashtag Tass" lifted the trophy after a gruelling day's action in a studio in a northern suburb of the French capital. His opponent in the final was the Berlin native"Cihan", who also had a perfect record of seven wins from as many matches going into the title decider, which was contested over two legs, one on each console. After landing a psychological blow with a 3-0 triumph in the first leg on his favoured Xbox, "Tass" went for the jugular and struck first on the PlayStation. Although the Arsenal fan subsequently succumbed to nerves and a comeback from a reinvigorated "Cihan", a 3-2 reverse in the second leg still proved enough for the Englishman to clinch glory.
The other qualifiers
"Vitality RocKy" succeeded in progressing from the 'Group of Death', which also contained FIWC 2014 champion "Agge" and one of the most feared competitors on the circuit, "Gorilla". The Frenchman then proceeded to navigate his way through to the final of the Xbox One division, knocking out compatriot "RayZiaaH" – the only unbeaten player in the group stage besides the two finalists – in the process before falling to "Tass". Another eye-catching performer was Germany's "Marlut", who displayed his legendary defensive skills during a superb run that was also ended by the eventual champion.
"SaLz0r" – one of the most experienced figures on the circuit, having been playing professionally since 2009 – topped Group G, only to suffer defeat at the first attempt in the knockout phase. However, the German took full advantage of the second chance he was afforded by the double-elimination format, duly chalking up one last victory to seal his spot in Berlin. He then came unstuck against another Londoner, "xShellzz", who impressed in his maiden live competition after having showcased his excellent mental qualities en route to Paris. The newcomer's hopes of going all the way on his debut were in turn dashed by"TimoX", who lived up to his credentials as a two-time German champion and rounds off the list of qualifiers.
Remaining regional finals schedule
Sydney (11 February)
Miami (19 February)
Vancouver (8 April)
Singapore (22 April)
Madrid (6 May)
What they said
"It's my biggest victory yet. I'll go to Berlin full of confidence! I think I've learned a lot today. When I've got a strong lead, I don't usually allow opponents back into it the way I did in the final. I'm going to make sure it doesn't happen again." Tassal "Tass" Rushan, winner of the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team regional final in Paris