After two successful seasons of the Gfinity Elite Series, things have certainly gone up a notch as FIFA 18 joined the fray for Season 3 which commenced on Friday.
The biggest sports video game in the world has arrived alongside Elite Series staples Rocket League and Street Fighter V, but it was no surprise that the EA Sports title was given the honour of kicking off the competition this year at the Gfinity Arena in London.
FIFA 18 Gfinity Elite Series Week 1 Highlights
The introduction of FIFA 18 has seen new esports teams join the Elite Series with Hashtag United, Unilad Esports and Vitality among the sides making their bow this season.
Hashtag United and Vitality met in the first clash of the competition, with Hashtag getting off to the perfect start with a 2-0 victory. ‘Hashtag Ryan’ Pessoa defeated Vitality’s Brian Savary in the Xbox One fixture, absorbing plenty of pressure in the first half before performing a smash-and-grab job in the second period.
Vitality team manager Mike ‘Gregan’ Ellis said: “Brian looked so in control in the first half, with his opponent Ryan not even having a shot. Brian had a few chances, and he was building up that pressure, but with FIFA and any goal scoring game, it just takes that one opportunity to change the game.”
On PlayStation 4, ‘Hashtag Agge’ Rosenmeier put in a more complete performance in the 2-1 win against Aurelien ‘Moolzn’ Cheron of Vitality, meaning Hashtag United’s two victories gave them three points in the Elite Series standings.
Gregan said: "I can’t wait to watch more FIFA 18 at the Elite Series because the skill level of these players is incredible. The group stages obviously do matter, but the play-offs and finals is where it matters most. Our players are learning how to play on the stage, and if we peak at the end, that’s all that matters."
Upset on opening weekend
There was a shock later in the night with Akima ‘Fully’ Byron of Epsilon producing a 2-0 victory over reigning FIFA Interactive World Cup champion Spencer ‘Gorilla’ Ealing from Unilad Esports. All was not lost for Unilad, with PlayStation player Shaun 'Shellz' Springette defeating Epsilon’s Daniel ‘Dingo’ Klink Norremark 2-0, meaning honours were left even between the two teams.
In the other FIFA 18 fixtures, Team Envy were the only other side to pick up the three points with a win over Excel in Group A, where the other tie in Group B ended in a draw between Fnatic and Method.
View the Gfinity Elite Series standings here.
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