If you are an avid football fan who does not hail from Denmark, then the name Brondby might not ring any bells. But if you are following eSports and the FIFA tournaments in particular, then you will immediately recognize the club name of the reigning champions of the latest FIFA eClub World Cup – and they did it for a second year in a row. Could this mean the start of a Danish dominance in all things FIFA related?
The Amazing Rise of FIFA eSports
There are also several FIFA tournaments organized by regional stakeholders, like the FIFA Cup organized on November 5th, 2018 by Paradox Gamers in Ahmedabad, with a pool prize of Rs. 40,000. Yet FIFA itself regularly organizes world tournaments for its amazing game, and the eClub World Cup is one of the most prestigious. It paves the way for the eWorld Cup that will take place later this year and it is followed by a broad and devoted audience across the globe, which comes as no surprise, since FIFA is one of the most beloved titles in gaming – in August 2017, just before FIFA 18 came out, the previous installment of FIFA 17 counted 12.3 million players globally, surpassing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 11.9 million and PUB with 6.8 million.
The success of eSports has begun to replicate the international enthusiasm about traditional sports – especially when it comes to video games like FIFA, which actually reflects real-life football. Traditional sports broadcasting networks like Sky Sports live streamed the FIFA eClub World Cup final between Brondby and runner-ups Team Envy. Sports betting provider Betway has tapped into the eSports market by providing the chance to bet on tournaments like the upcoming FIFA eWorld Cup, as well as by sponsoring well-known eSports organizations like Ninjas in Pyjamas and ESL One. According to Betway, Nicolas99FC is the favourite to win the title this year, priced at 5/1 on July 9th, 2018, which means that Brondby’s dominance might not suffice to provide us with a Danish winner after all. Regardless of the winner, the overall value of the market is booming, to the point where it got its own advertising agencies, like the eSports Ad Bureau. The FIFA eWorld Cup is a great way for football clubs with little recognition abroad to reach out to a larger audience – just like Brondby just did.
Brondby Win the FIFA eClub World Club for the Second Time in a Row
Despite the fact that Brondby has participated in 144 European regional tournaments, including the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the European Cup, it has never advanced too much in any of those. The biggest achievements of the Danish team, which was founded in 1964 and is based in a Copenhagen suburb, is that it reached the European Cup quarter-finals and won the Danish championship 10 times. But now their eSports team has given it worldwide recognition. The team was formed just 6 months before the FIFA eClub World Cup 2017, and it went on to win the trophy. The team’s approach is to only take on Danish gamers, which means that they are constantly on the lookout for fresh talent. Their players rely heavily on the club representatives to take care of everything else so that they can focus on practising and perfecting their skills – they are often studying or working outside of their eSports careers.
— #FIFAeWorldCup (@FIFAeWorldCup) May 20, 2018
Brondby selected Muhammed Ustun (Fifaustun) to represent them on Xbox One and Frederik Fredberg for PlayStation 4. The team were up against big names in eSports like Team Envy and Unilad, as well as other clubs like Paris St-Germain. They managed to work their way through to the finals, where they faced Team Envy. Fredberg succumbed to Germany’s “Eisvogel”, who won the game 4-1. However, France’s “Aero” had a tougher time against Fifaustun, who managed to score 6 goals against his opponent. Aero missed opportunities to score and the game finished 6-0, giving the title to the Danish team with an aggregate score of 7-1. The 16 teams that competed in Paris had their eyes set on the $50,000 prize pool, but Brondby successfully defended the title and took most of the pool prize home. Now the spotlight turns to the FIFA eWorld Cup that will take place in London during August 2-4, 2018, with a total prize pool of $400,000.
With this amazing success, Brondby made sure that they are the team to watch out for in the eWorld Cup. Less than a month is left until we find out whether their players can consolidate the rule of Denmark in FIFA 18.
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