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22 Jan 2019 by Alex Sarwar

FIFA 19 – FUT Champions Cup January Preview

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THE FACTS

When? January 25th - January 27th

Where? Bucharest, Romania

What channel is it on? FUT Champions Cup January will not be televised live

Where can I stream the tournament? The entire competition can be streamed on EA Sports’ official Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook channels. The schedule is as follows:

Friday January 25th – 11:30 to 21:30 CET

Saturday January 26th – 12:00 to 20:00 CET

Sunday January 27th – 12:00 to 20:30 CET

Can I follow the tournament on Twitter? Updates will be provided on the EA Sports official Twitter page and also the competitive EA Sports Twitter page which focuses specifically on FIFA eSports. Also be sure to search the hashtags #FIFAeWorldCup and #FUTChampionsCup as well as looking up ‘FUT Champions Cup Bucharest’ in the Twitter search bar. Don’t forget to follow your favourite players competing in the tournament, along with their respective clubs/organisations who are likely to provide real time updates on their progress.

THE LOWDOWN

Tournament Format and Schedule

The FUT Champions Cup January will be contested by 32 players on the PlayStation 4 and a further 32 players on the Xbox One. These 64 players will all compete in a Swiss-style single group stage format that leads into a knockout bracket. Of the 32 players from each console, half of them will progress from the group stages into the round of 16, from which they will contest a single elimination bracket that will leave two players remaining from each console. These two players will compete against each other in the console finals with the two winners facing off in the grand final. The final will be a two-legged affair with one game played on each console.

Friday 25th January – Swiss-style group stages

Saturday 26th January – Round of 16 & quarter-finals

Sunday 27th January – Semi-finals, console finals & grand final

Are there rules regarding what teams/players can be used for the tournament?

Each game will be played in the FIFA Ultimate Team mode, with each player free to use their own UT in the competition.

Who will be competing in the tournament?

A total of 64 players around the globe have qualified for the FUT Champions Cup January through the official FIFA Global Series online qualification tournament which took place back in October. You can find a complete list of players who will be appearing in Bucharest along with the console they will be competing on here.

What prizes are up for grabs?

A cash pool of $200,000 is on offer at the FUT Champions Cup January that sees the winner take home a total of $50,000, but perhaps even more importantly up for grabs for the competing players are FIFA Global Series Points, with more points up for the grabs the higher you place at the tournament. These points will see them rise up the FIFA Global Series rankings leaderboard for their respective console. At the end of the season, the top 16 ranked players from each console according to the Global Series rankings leaderboard will qualify for the 2019 FIFA eWorld Cup. The total amount of prize money and Global Series Points awarded for each finishing position at the FUT Champions Cup January is below:

Winner - $50,000 + 1500 GSP
Runner-up - $30,000 + 850 GSP
3rd -4th -
$15,000 + 625 GSP
5th-8th -
$7,500 + 450 GSP
9th-16th -
$3,500 + 275 GSP
17th-32nd -
$1000 + 150 GSP
33rd-64th -
$500

THE PLAYERS

The FUT Champions Cup January is the third major tournament of the FIFA 19 season and the second FUT Champions Cup event to take place in Bucharest (and third overall). With the absence of last week’s Gfinity FIFA Series winner Nicolas99fc, the field is open for a potential new major winner. To do that they’ll have to get past F2Tekkz, who is aiming for a second major trophy and his third successive tournament win in the Romanian capital. They’ll also have to get past last month’s Gfinity FUT Champions Cup winner Msdossary. The reigning FIFA eWorld Cup champion is also looking for his second major triumph of the season so far and he currently tops our unique tournament-based rankings on the Xbox One.

In our search for a player capable of breaking into the “elite three” on FIFA 19 this weekend, it immediately leads us to Msdossary’s teammate at Rogue eSports. GoalMachine made a big splash a few days ago at the Gfinity arena, winning five of his six games played as he made it to the console finals of the Gfinity FIFA Series January – a run that included knocking out his good friend F2Tekkz in the Xbox One semi-finals. It was a performance that drew admiration from spectators (TSZ being part of the crowd!) and players alike and will give the Canadian all the belief he needs to go even further this weekend. Even Msdossary himself was impressed, the Saudi enjoying playing cheerleader for his teammate!

Another player we believe could be on the verge of a major breakthrough is AFC Ajax’s Dani Hagebeuk. The Dutchman has started the season strongly, reaching the console final of the previous FUT Champions Cup event in Bucharest and qualifying for the FIFA eClub World Cup in February with his teammate Ajax Joey. The Dutch footballing giants AFC Ajax have been drawing admirers from the FIFA eSports community for their innovative ideas and strategies to try and improve the performance of their players, such as flying them to the USA for a special training camp, and two-time eDivisie winner Dani has certainly been reaping the benefits based on his online and offline showings this season. All that’s been lacking is a major trophy, so could that change this weekend?

Turning our attention to the PlayStation 4 side of the tournament and a player who has so far come the closest to breaking into the winners club alongside the “elite three”. Stefano Pinna of PSV Eindhoven. The 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup runner up who, is currently ranked 4th on the PS4 Global Series leaderboard, was beaten by F2Tekkz in the PGL Cup grand final and by Nicolas99fc in the console semi-finals of the Gfinity FUT Champions Cup. The Belgian so far has been unable to take that big step which will elevate him alongside those names, but the third FUT Champions Cup of the season represents another chance for the eDevil to finally secure a major to his name. With Nicolas not competing, it may be the best chance he has yet to do so!

THE PREDICTION

The main question heading into Bucharest is simple. Can anyone stop one of the familiar faces from winning yet again? This writer has taken some unfair stick from his colleagues for tipping the same names (correctly I might add!) to win these tournaments, but the fact is that as of now, F2Tekkz, Msdossary and Nicolas99fc have been the best three FIFA 19 players in the world by a convincing margin.

However, the bold call this week is that things are going to change! Nicolas99fc will not be at the event, F2Tekkz is showing faint signs of slowing down after his storming start to the season, and Msdossary is competing outside of the United Kingdom, where he has won his last three major trophies.

So who will put themselves firmly on the FIFA 19 map and bring home the FUT Champions Cup January? It could well come down to a battle between the Dutch footballing powerhouses AFC Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. In the end, we’ve settled on Stefano Pinna to take advantage of a potentially less intimidating field playing on PS4 and to finally add his name to the list of FIFA 19 major trophy winners.

Click here for a full breakdown of the road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019

Click here for our latest FIFA eSports player rankings

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