Last year’s champion Ettorito97 was out for revenge after exiting at the group stage in the CO-OP finals yesterday, but his passage through the group was not guaranteed.
The tournament favourites Ettorito97 and GuiFera99_SFC formed half of the group of death alongside Japanese qualifier Mayageka and GuiFera00_SFC’s Co-Op teammate Alemao_pesbr.
Group B featured Brazilian HenrykinhO, Portuguese Christopher_PW and Kalok.c all the way from Hong Kong. Vietnam’s BRUTD_Jezus could not make the tournament increasing each players chance of progression from Group B.
ZEUS_FAIDAN was tipped to top Group C with his close dribbling so effective in Solo play. He was pitted against FMestre12, S-Venom and The_Palma2 in a group that appeared there for the taking.
Two-time world champion Usmakabyle was the favourite from Group D with Brazilian champions AllissonBlack_ providing his sternest test. Verysutton and LuKerZeven formed the rest of the final group as each player attempted to progress into the knockout phase.
Ettorito97 avenged Broken Silence’s defeat yesterday with a stellar 2-0 win over GuiFera99 to take control early in Group A. Alemao_pesbr and Mayageka played out a thrilling 3-3 draw to blow the group wide open after the first round of matches.
Italian star Ettorito97 booked his place in the quarter-finals with a game to spare earning three points in a close encounter with Mayageka who will need to beat GuiFera99 in his final match. The eLigaSul Stars captain edged out his CO-OP teammate Alemao_pesbr 2-1 to get off the mark in Group A.
Mayageka stunned GuiFera99 in a tense match with the Japanese player eventually winning 3-2. He joins Ettorito97 in the quarter-finals after the Italian made it three wins from three and looked in imperious form during his 5-1 demolition of Alemao_pesbr. Both Brazilian CO-OP champions failed to make it out of Group A.
Christoper_PW took charge of the smaller Group B with his win opening game over Kalok.c. effectively qualifying for the knockout round already.
HenrykinhO received three points in the first match and added another three with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Christopher_PW. Kalok.c needed to put in a huge performance if he was to stand a chance of qualifying.
Kalok.c beat HenrykinhO 3-2 in Group B’s final game but it was not enough as he crashed out on goal difference. The loss for HenrykinhO meant Christopher_PW jumped above him and into top spot.
A thrilling attacking performance from ZEUS_FAIDAN saw him rattle five goals past S-Venom who was playing in his first game of the weekend. The_Palma2 drew 2-2 with FMestre12 as they both moved ahead of S-Venom who had it all to do.
FMestre inflicted S-Venom’s second defeat of the tournament, eliminating the German from this year’s competition. S-Venom will be playing for pride when he takes on The_Palma2 who drew with ZEUS_FAIDAN to keep his hopes of qualification alive.
The_Palma2 showed no signs of nerves dispatching S-Venom 6-2 to set up a quarter-final tie with Christopher_PW. ZEUS-FAIDAN overcame a stubborn FMestre12 3-2 to top the group and will face fellow 16-year-old Henrykinh0 in the first knockout round.
AS Monaco eSports star Usmakabyle cut a frustrated figure as he was held to a 0-0 draw by Hong Kong’s Verysutton. AllissonBlack_ capitalised on the Frenchman dropping points and went top of the group early on with a 3-1 win over Colombian LuKerZeven.
Brazilian AllissonBlack_ did not continue his impressive start, falling to a 2-1 defeat to Verysutton leaving the Honk Kong man joint top of the group with Usmakabyle who thumped LuKerZeven 5-2.
After an unconvincing first display, Usmakabyle showed what he is capable of, smashing seven past AllissonBlack_ to dump the Brazilian from the competition. LuKerZeven grabbed his only point in the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Verysutton to round off proceedings in the group stage.
Tournament favourite Ettorito97 kick off proceedings in the knockout phase annihilating Verysutton 5-0 in what was described as “the best performance ever seen at this stage of a competition” by commentator Chris Tunn. The Italian scored a sublime bicycle kick that will go down as one of the goals of the tournament.
In the second quarter-final, ZEUS_FAIDAN produced one of the greatest comebacks PES League has ever seen. Trailing 2-0, the 16-year-old scored two goals in the last five minutes to take the tie to extra-time. With momentum on his side, ZEUS_FAIDAN stayed composed and went on to score two more goals and secure his place in the semis where he will meet Ettorito97.
Christopher_PW became the third semi-finalist of the PES League 2019 Solo World Finals, overcoming The_Palma2 on penalties. The Portuguese player will have to up his game if he is to stand a chance of reaching the final as he struggled to break down his Spanish opponent.
French powerhouse Usmakabyle put on another fine display in the quarter-final and appears to be gaining momentum as he storms towards the final. The AS Monaco eSports player put five past Mayageka to set up an all European tie with Christopher_PW.
Ettorito97 faced ZEUS_FAIDAN in the first semi-final and grabbed an early goal as he had done in each of his previous games. Any sign of a walkover was quickly dispelled as ZUES_FAIDAN gave as good as he got with both teams going close to adding to the scoring.
The Indonesian underdog just could not find a way past the Italian’s stubborn defence despite the vocal crowd roaring him on. Ettorito97 held on for the win and will play in his third consecutive PES League World Final.
Another five-star performance from Usmakabyle will concern Ettorito97 as the Frenchman blew Christopher_PW away in the first half. Despite pulling two goals back, the Portuguese number one never looked like getting back into the game and was finished off by a swift counterattack ending the game 5-2.
The final kicked off with Frenchman Usmakabyle roared in by a predominantly Brazilian crowd. The Brazilians and Ettorito97 had developed a rivalry over the weekend and it was plain to see during the main event.
Italian Ettorito97 struck first, silencing the crowd as he dominated the early stages. However, two-time world champion Usmakabyle could not be kept quiet for long and his equaliser saw the flash point in the match.
The match was delayed after some over-enthusiastic celebrations caused irritation among the Italian contingent. Security was required to calm the situation and allow the players to continue.
Both players exchanged goals and played some remarkable attacking football as they had throughout the tournament. As the game headed into extra-time with the game at 2-2, nerves began to show with both players uncharacteristically losing possession cheaply.
More drama. Frenchman Usmakabyle took the lead in extra-time, but Ettorito97 responded straight away as the game looked to be going to penalties.
However, it was Usmakabyle who had the final say as he took the lead with just seconds remaining to be crowned PES League 2019 World Champion.
READ MORE: All you need to know about PES 2020