Drama. That was what was at the center of a riveting Regional Final in Miami to close out Season 1 of the Regional Finals of the FIFA Ultimate Championship.
The top 32 competitors from the Americas battled for regional supremacy and a spot in Berlin for the Ultimate Team Championship Series Final. In the end, a pair of Brazilians proved they were the dominant forces in the hemisphere. Rafael Salles “Rafifa13” Leite Fortes emerged as the winner of the Xbox One division while his compatriot, Lucas “LucasRep98” Costa, was the winner of the PlayStation 4 bracket. The final was contested in front of a packed house in North Miami, with both players enjoying raucous support from a partisan crowd. In the end, Rafifa13 emerged victorious and secured the $30,000 USD grand prize.
Here are the 5 things you must know about the Season 1 Miami Regional Final:
In Paris we saw a large contingent of professional players which made for some very close, intense matches throughout the tournament. The Rest of the World Regional Final in Sydney introduced many new players to the competitive scene and allowed us to witness some free-flowing, spectacular football.
The Americas Regional Final in Miami provided the most balanced roster of players. While seasoned, weathered players like “Omaclan” or “Janoz CFI” came into tournament with a plethora of competitive experience, there were also many participants that were getting their first taste of the competitive circuit. This intriguing mix set the stage for some excellent matches that proved that sometimes experience isn't enough when facing a very skilled opponent.
Closest Group Stage in Season 1
That parity among the competitors meant that there wasn't a clear favourite in the group stage. No player dominated the round robin by winning all three games, and several groups were wide open all the way to the last match of the group. This made for great theatre right to the bitter end of the group stages where the final matches kept viewers at the edge of their seats.
Hard-fought matches continued to be the trend in throughout the knockout stages. In Miami we watched the highest number of ties being resolved in penalty shootouts. All the drama, heartbreak and jubilee that comes with games being decided from the spot were on full display in South Florida. You never want to see high quality matches end in penalties, with both players staking fair claims to the win, but that's the way the beautiful game sometimes goes.
The Berlin Bound Players
There was more on the line than the regional title, including $110,000 in cash prizes and bragging rights in the Americas Regional Final. More importantly, players were also competing for six tickets to the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship in Berlin and the chance to go to-to-toe with the top players in the world.
In the Xbox division, Rafifa13, JanozCFI, and Kid M3mito secured their place in the German capital while LucasRep98, Olimaclan and Mazuco786 booked their ticket to Berlin from the PlayStation 4 bracket.
The Divisional Finals were dominated by South American competitors. With representatives from Brazil, Colombia and Chile, the players from the lower hemisphere stepped up when it mattered most and proved that South America is a force to be reckoned with in the region.
It was an all-Brazilian affair as Rafifa13 from the Xbox One Division and LucasRep98 represented the PlayStation 4 division in the grand inter-divisional final. It was ultimately Rafifa13 who lifted the trophy after a very thrilling and dominant two legged final. With an aggregate score of 5-2, Rafifa13 ended his impressive tournament with the Americas Regional crown.
We are only halfway through our Regional Finals. Season 2 will kick off in Vancouver, Canada on Saturday, April 8th. Don't miss any of the action here at FUTChampions.com/live