Top gamers poised for Berlin Grand Final

The field for this coming weekend’s FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Final in Berlin was completed in Madrid on 6 May, when the last of the six FUT Champions regional finals took place. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, the top 32 gamers from Seasons 1 and 2 will fight it out for eight seats at the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017 Grand Final in London. 

How does it work? 
Players are split into two divisions of 16 players each: Xbox One and Playstation 4. Each division comprises four groups of four, with the top two in each section advancing to the knockout phase. The division champions will then meet in the Grand Final, played over two legs.

The programme
Friday 19 May (from 12:00 CET): group phase and start of the knockout phase.
Saturday 20 May (from 11:00 CET): remainder of the knockout phase, Grand Final.

Players to watch
It goes without saying that much will be expected of the regional champions. Season 1 saw England’s “Hashtag Tass” outclass the rest in Paris, while Saudi Arabia’s “xX ThE RoYaL Xx” beat a former world champion in the Sydney final, and “Rafifa 13” of Brazil triumphed in Miami. Starring in Season 2, meanwhile, were “Msdossary7”, who confirmed Saudi Arabia’s strength in depth, US veteran “xGUASTELLAx”, who drew on all his charisma and experience, and “Prinsipe”, who took everyone by surprise in Madrid with his solid defending and scintillating attacking play. 

Also worth keeping an eye on are 2015 FIWC winner “MrD0ne” of Saudi Arabia, and a clutch of players with solid experience on the global scene, such as German duo “BenediktSaltzer” and “NRaseck”, Colombia’s “Janoz CFI” and “Maniika” of France. But as you will already know if you have been following the regional finals, FUT Champions is a competition that throws up plenty of surprises, with every opponent proving dangerous. 

Facts and figures
– More than six million gamers battled it out in the FUT Champions weekend leagues for 192 regional-final places.
– Sixteen of the 32 qualifiers for Berlin come from Europe, 12 from the Americas and four from the rest of the world.
– Germany is the best-represented country with six qualifiers, ahead of the USA (5) and France (4).

Who qualified from where 
Season 1
Europe (4 February, Paris): eight qualifiers
Rest of world (11 February, Sydney): two qualifiers
Americas (19 February, Miami): six qualifiers

Season 2 
Rest of world (21 April, Vancouver): two qualifiers
Americas (22 April, Vancouver): six qualifiers
Europe (6 May, Madrid): eight qualifiers

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