The FIFA eWorld Cup, or the FIFA Interactive World Cup, is an eSports tournament that was first held in 2004 and organized around EA Sports’ FIFA series, the world’s most popular football video game. It is considered the most important annual competition for virtual soccer players, and it is an official FIFA tournament.
The first FIFA eWorld Cup was held in 2004, in Zurich, Switzerland. This first tournament saw 32 players from the United States and Europe competing for a $20,000 grand prize. Since then, the tournament has grown significantly in size and scale. The most recent edition of the tournament, the 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup, was held in London, England, with 32 finalists competing for a grand prize of $250,000.
The most recent tournament took place in 2022, with German Umut Gültekin beating Argentina’s Nicolas Villalba on penalties after the two-legged tie finished goalless. The victor took home a prize of $250,000 but it wasn’t just the gamers that were able to win some cash. An online bookmaker, Thunderpick, now provides eSports betting with bitcoin, so if you’re a FIFA aficionado, such websites could be worth checking out.
In addition to the main tournament, a number of other tournaments have been held over the years. This includes the EA Player of the Year Award, the FIFA Online Tournaments, and the FIFA European Online Championship. The EA Player of the Year Award is given to the player who has achieved the highest overall score in the virtual football game each year.
The FIFA Online Tournaments are open to players from all over the world and feature some of the biggest prizes in competitive gaming, including a prize of $1 million in 2014. The FIFA European Online Championship is a smaller tournament held in Europe, which has seen some of the biggest names in competitive gaming compete for up to €25,000.
The growth of the FIFA eWorld Cup
As the FIFA eWorld Cup has grown in popularity, the prize money awarded to its winners has also grown significantly. In the 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup, the grand prize was a whopping $250,000. Additionally, the prize money for the EA Player of the Year Award has grown from $20,000 to $100,000. This demonstrates the large growth in the amount of money available to competitive gaming players and the increasing popularity of the sport.
The most recent edition of the FIFA eWorld Cup was the biggest yet, with over 2.3 million players participating across the globe. There was a huge amount of spectators tuning in to the matches, both in person and online. This demonstrates the huge growth in popularity of eSports and the increasing number of people getting involved in competitive gaming.
Above all, the FIFA eWorld Cup has been hugely successful in not only awarding its winners a huge sum of money but also in growing the popularity of virtual football and eSports as a whole. With esports becoming more and more popular with each annual tournament, the FIFA eWorld Cup continues to be one of the more important events in the competitive gaming calendar.
Who won the earlier editions of the tournament?
- 2004: Thiago Carrico de Azevedo | Brazil
Brazil’s Thiago won the inaugural tournament back in 2004. He defeated American Matija Biljeskovic in the final and picked up a cool $20,000 in the process.
- 2005: Chris Bullard | England
Football finally came home in 2005, virtually at least. England’s Chris Bullard defeated Hungarian Gábor Mokos in the showpiece which was held in London.
- 2006: Andries Smit | the Netherlands
In 2006, the trend of lifting the crown on home turf continued in Amsterdam. Home favourite Andries Smit defeated Austria’s Wolfgang Meier in a pulsating final which eventually finished 6-4.
- 2008: Alfonso Ramos | Spain
2008 was a great year for Spanish football, both virtually and in real life. The summer began with Alfonso Ramos securing the FIFA eWorld Cup for the first time. He defeated America’s Michael Ribeiro by three goals to one in Berlin to scoop up the prizemoney.
Just two months later, the Spanish national team followed in Ramos’ footsteps. Las Rojas swept all before them at Euro 2008 in Austria and Hungary to seal their first major international trophy in 44 years. Liverpool striker Fernando Torres would score the only goal of the game in the final against Germany in Vienna’s Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
- 2010: Nenad Stojkovic | Serbia
The 2010 installment of the FIFA eWorld Cup was the tournament’s biggest since its inception. The competition took place just a matter of months before the real-life tournament took place in South Africa and saw a mammoth 775,000 players participate, which was a world record at the time.
The competitors were whittled down to just 16 finalists and in the end, Serbia’s Nenad Stojkovic came out on top. He defeated Germany’s Ayhan Altundag 2-1 in the final and took home $25,000 as a result.