E-Sports Report: ESWC FIFA Qualifier, Cape Town

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 30 September 2016
Category: Features
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Four Cape Town FIFA players have qualified to represent the region in Johannesburg in early October, with the ultimate aim of winning the South African spot in the international ESWC tournament in Paris at the end of October.

Last weekend Zombiegamer Events and ACGL (African Cyber Gaming League) hosted the Cape Town qualifier for the ESWC FIFA e-sports event at Trenchtown in Observatory. The qualifier took the form of a double-elimination event on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the gamers competing in FIFA 16, as FIFA 17 hadn't been released yet.

In Johannesburg, meanwhile, MainGaming will be hosting two FIFA 17 qualifiers, one this weekend and one next weekend, the second of which will feature the Cape Town finalists. The ultimate winner of the Johannesburg qualifiers will win an all-expenses-paid trip to France to compete in the international ESWC (Electronic Sports World Cup) FIFA 17 tournament being held during Paris Gaming Week at the end of October, which offers a prize pool of US$15 000.

E-Sports Report: ESWC FIFA Qualifier, Cape Town

In Cape Town 52 gamers (32 on PlayStation 4 and 20 on Xbox One) competed to reach the top four spots of the competition (two per console), which would allow them to qualify to participate in the finals in Johannesburg next month. The top four then competed to be in first place, a more crucial position than just having bragging rights, as that position's flight costs to Johannesburg and accommodation were a key part of the prize. (Additionally, all four players won Raru vouchers.)

[ Challonge link: The PlayStation 4 bracket ]
(Note: You can click and drag to see more of the bracket information.)

There was an early upset in the PlayStation 4 bracket as Mubeen Gaffoor, who is a regular tournament winner (such as the FIFA 15 tournament in July 2015 and the FIFA 14 tournament in February 2014) lost his first-round match and was relegated to the losers' bracket, where he fought to stay in the tournament but ultimately lost in losers' round seven to Waseem Moerat, another high-ranking player (he came third in the FIFA 16 tournament in May this year) who had been knocked out of the winners' bracket in the third round in another upset.

E-Sports Report: ESWC FIFA Qualifier, Cape Town
Above: Mubeen Gaffoor (left) faces Waseem Moerat in the seventh round of the PlayStation 4 losers' bracket.
Waseem Moerat fought hard in the losers' bracket and eventually got back into the winners' bracket final where, as per double-elimination rules, he had to win twice in order to win the bracket and move to the tournament finals in the leading position. In the PlayStation 4 final he met Shuaib Barday and they both played as FC Bayern München. Waseem Moerat dominated the finals, winning the first match 3-0 and the second 2-1 (the Challonge score above is wrong). Both players, however, had qualified for the tournament final.

[ Challonge link: The Xbox One bracket ]
(Note: You can click and drag to see more of the bracket information.)

On the Xbox One side, due to unfortunate random pairings, strong players met each other in the early rounds, forcing some into the losers' bracket early on in the tournament. This included Brandon Bowers (who won the FIFA 16 tournament in May this year and came second in the FIFA 15 tournament in July 2015) who faced Yazeed Dollie in the second round and lost 4-3. Yazeed Dollie (who has been struggling to reach tournament finals after a particularly successful run in 2014) then met Masoom Fakie in the third round and lost 2-1.

E-Sports Report: ESWC FIFA Qualifier, Cape Town

In the losers' bracket Brandon Bowers had his revenge and knocked out Yazeed Dollie in the losers' fifth round but in the next round he, in turn, was knocked out by Muzammil Mowser. Muzammil Mowser then fought his way back into the winners' bracket to face Masoom Fakie, the second-place winner in the FIFA 16 tournament in May this year, who had made it to the finals of this tournament bracket undefeated. Masoom Fakie continued his domination of the event and beat Muzammil Mowser 3-1.

[ Challonge link: The Xbox One bracket ]

The tournament finals comprised home and away matches with the aggregate rule in place and home goals counting for more. Masoom Fakie convincingly won both matches against Shuaib Barday to meet Muzammil Mowser, who had, in turn won both matches against Waseem Moerat.

E-Sports Report: ESWC FIFA Qualifier, Cape Town
Above: From left: Shuaib Barday, Masoom Fakie, Waseem Moerat, and Muzammil Mowser compete on the Xbox One during the tournament finals.
This meant that both Xbox One finalists had made it to the tournament final, while Waseem Moerat was later ranked third and Shuaib Barday was ranked fourth. Masoom Fakie won the first match 4-1 (Zombiegamer erroneously says 3-1), which was played on the PlayStation 4. The two players then moved to the Xbox One, where they decided to call it quits after Masoom Fakie scored again as Muzammil Mowser had decided that he wouldn't be able to close the gap in the aggregate scores.

This meant that Masoom Fakie was the ultimate winner and will have his costs covered for the Johannesburg qualifier, whereas Muzammil Mowser, Waseem Moerat, and Shuaib Barday will all, sadly, have to make their own way there if they want to compete further.

It's unfortunate that every year the competition is centred around Johannesburg as Cape Town's FIFA e-sports community comprises a number of very strong players. The qualifying Cape Town gamers, bar the first-place winner, are disadvantaged in having to pay their way to Johannesburg if they want a chance to compete for the South African slot in the international tournament. Worse, gamers from the rest of the country have no opportunity to compete unless they travel to one of the two cities.

This could be remedied by corporate sponsorship but there is very little sponsorship in South African e-sports and most of it goes to the first-person shooters - games such as FIFA and the versus fighting games receive almost no local attention or money.

E-Sports Report: ESWC FIFA Qualifier, Cape Town
Above: Waseem Moerat, Masoom Fakie, and Muzammil Mowser placed third, first, and second in the tournament.
Nevertheless, brainwavez.org wishes all the competitors good luck for the local finals. I'm obviously biased and hope a Cape Town gamer wins to go on to Paris but whoever makes it will be a strong contender internationally - last year South African Sattar Hoosein made it out of the round-robin group stages to the single-elimination home-and-away playoffs, where he was, unfortunately, beaten in the first round by the eventual winner of the tournament.

South Africa definitely has the talent to make it even further this year.

You can read Zombiegamer's roundup of the tournament here and see its photos from the day on Facebook.

Tags: #cape_town, #games, #saesports

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