The weekend of action-packed FIFA competition continued as the Americas Season 2 Regional Final unfolded in Whistler, Canada. The final players who will round out the Americas contingent at the Ultimate Team Championship in Berlin were defined in a Regional Final that was full of drama, great goals and major upsets.
Here are five major takeaways from the event in Vancouver:
1. Roman Disappointment
Coming into Berlin, Aman “Roma Aman” Seddiqi was pegged by many as a favourite to win the competition. Signed by Italian giants AS Roma for their nascent eSports team shortly before the Season 1 Americas Regional Final in Miami, Florida, Seddiqi had the pressure of representing a world class club on the biggest stage.
Roma Aman experienced an early exit in the knockout stages in South Florida. With renewed vigor and determination to redeem himself in Vancouver, things did not go any better for Seddiqi as the Atlanta-based player failed to progress out of the group stage after recording two losses and one draw.
The emotional player made no effort to hide this disappointment as he stepped out of the venue. While the chances to represent AS Roma in the Ultimate Team Championship in Berlin have disappeared for Seddiqi, he will now focus his effort in qualifying to the FIFA Interactive World Cup in London.
2. The Return of the Godfather
Giuseppe “GUASTELLA” Guastella is a seasoned FIFA competitive player and the 31-year-old American was the oldest competitor in the field at the Americas Regional Final. Having started playing FIFA at the tender age of eight, Guastella entered the competitive FIFA scene back in 2009.
Since then, GUASTELLA has enjoyed a prolific competitive career including winning the 2009 FIFA Interactive World North American Championship and a top four finish at the 2012 FIWC in Dubai.
However, success behind the controller had been eluding the self-proclaimed “Godfather” in recent years and questions surrounding his longevity in the game increased after he failed to progress to the knockout stages in the Season 1 Regional Final in Miami. Some considered the “Godfather” finished.
Those questions were answered emphatically by GUASTELLA in Whistler after he dominated the knockout stage all the way to conquering the Xbox One Division and, eventually, the Regional Champion title.
The Godfather is back, proving that eSports is not only a young player's game.
3. Mexican players lift their hand
In the Season 2 Rest of the World Regional Final we saw the emergence of Japanese competitors as forces to be reckoned with in the FIFA Competitive scene. The Americas Regional Final was the time for Mexico to step up to the challenge.
With six tickets to the Ultimate Team Championship in Berlin on the line, Reinhard “rein10” Krause in the PlayStation 4 Division and Jose Carbajal Garcia in the Xbox One bracket secured their trip to the German capital by placing second and third respectively. In Season 1, Mexicans players were unable to shine, but the Season 2 contingent made sure that the Latin American country will have representation in Germany.
4. Redemption for NYC_Chris
It ended in heartbreak for Christopher “NYC_Chris” Holly in Miami at the Season 1 Regional Final. He was only one win away to booking his spot in Berlin, but it wasn't meant to be after finishing fourth in the PlayStation 4 division.
He didn't bow his head however, and continued to put in the work required to elevate his game. Those efforts paid off even before a ball was kicked in Whistler for the Season 2 Regional Finals. He signed a contract with MLS club New York City FC, becoming the first professional to ink an eSports deal for a club in the North American soccer league.
Then, he backed up that accomplishment with an incredible run in the mountains of Whistler. After falling to Reinhard “rein10” Krause in the PlayStation 4 semifinals he rebounded to make it all the way back to the divisional final where he would meet Krause again.
He had to win twice to advance to the Grand Final and he did just that. Holly made history in the process after being the first competitor in the Ultimate Team Championship Series to ever win the divisional title coming from the lower bracket.
Though he fell in the grand final, it was an incredibly successful tournament for Holly and now he'll compete in Berlin alongside the world's best.
5. On To Berlin
The Season 2 Americas Regional Final in Whistler determined the final competitors from the region who will move on the the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship in Berlin on May 19 and 20.
On the Xbox division it was the eventual regional champion Giuseppe “xGUASTELLAx” Guastella, Niall “JoGa Cesc” Archbold, and Jose Carbajal Garcia who secured their spots in the German capital. Christopher “NYC_Chris” Holly, Reinhard “rein10” Krause, and Gunbir “manbir2472” Gill will be battling with the best PlayStation 4 players in the world in Berlin.
Check out all of our extended coverage of the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship Series at FUTChampions.com and don't forget to tune in on May 6 to watch the live broadcast of the Season 2 European Regional Final.