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17 July 2020 | in eSports

Champions crowned in inaugural FISU eSports Challenge

The curtain has finally fallen on what was an enthralling and riveting first-ever 2020 FISU eSports Challenge, as the overall victors in both the men’s and women’s tournaments were crowned on Thursday, July 16.

Eight days of intense online action saw 32 participants in the men’s competition and 12 participants in the women’s division from over 30 universities across all five Continental University Sport Federations battle it out for global FIFA eSport honours, culminating in Thursday’s highly anticipated finals.

 

Vying for the coveted gold medal in the men’s final was Masih Mohafezatkar from the Qazvin University of Medical Sciences in Iran, who faced off against Oman’s Amran Al Dhuhli from the Modern College of Business and Science.

 

Mohafezatkar was the favourite heading into the showdown, having gone unbeaten all tournament after topping Group B, yet he was up against a fierce competitor in Al Dhuhli who had emphatically won his semi-final 9-2 against Australian opponent Dillon Henriques-Gomes.

 

The two-legged final was a cagey affair, with the two evenly-matched gamers unwilling to be the first to slip up in giving their opponent the advantage. After enjoying more of the possession in the opening minutes, it was Al Dhuhli who found the first goal of the final through Dutchman Ruud Gullit, taking a deserved 1-0 half-time lead.

 

After a patient build-up, Mohafezatkar struck back in the 65th minute through Kylian Mbappe to level the score, yet just seven minutes from time, Al Dhuhli restored his one-goal lead as Eusebio found the back of the net, with the 20-year-old Business student taking a narrow 2-1 advantage into the second leg.

Knowing he had to score, Mohafezatkar – who is ranked 489th in the FIFA world gaming rankings – applied early pressure and drew level just 15 minutes in, Allan Saint Maxim’s superbly-struck effort into the roof of the net making it 2-2 on aggregate.

 

Chances thereafter were few and far between, with neither player giving an inch, their conservative play and resolute defences ensuring no further goals were conceded, and with the tie level on aggregate, a Golden Goal decider was needed to crown the eventual champion.

 

Underdog Al Dhuhli bossed possession from the start, and just 25 minutes in, Eusebio was on hand to stroke home the golden goal which gave Al Dhuhli the victory, crowning him as the inaugural champion in the men’s competition.

 

The Omani student was understandably thrilled after his hard-fought gold medal match, while also taking the time to praise his illustrious opponent. 

 

“I’m very glad about this historic day for myself, my family, my friends and country,” Al Dhuhli told fisu.net after his victory.

 

“Today I can’t sleep and I will remember this day forever! I’m so very happy and will look to celebrate, however the Coronavirus situation will stop me,” he joked.

 

“I wish Masih all the best in the future and hope he is not too disappointed – this is football, there is always a winner and a loser and I give him my utmost respect.”

In the women’s grand finale, Saudi Arabia’s Najd Fahad from Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University battled it out against Brazil’s Alexssandra Batista from UniAteneu.

 

The pair had met in the group stages, where Batista had earned a 2-0 victory, with the Brazilian looking to make it two from two after her 6-3 humbling of Australia’s Jessica Au in the semi-finals.

 

Almost 1000 spectators tuned in live on Twitch to watch the finalists in action, where it was a case of sweet revenge for Fahad, who was merciless against her Brazilian opponent. Seeing most of the ball and forcing Batista on the back foot, Fahad’s waves of attacks soon produced a goal, with Ronaldo converting in the 19th minute, and then again on the stroke of half-time to give the 18-year-old a deserved 2-0 half-time lead.

 

Refusing to sit on her lead, Fahad continued in the same vein in the second half, not giving her opponent a sniff as two more goals from Ronaldo combined with a Neymar strike four minutes from time gave her a healthy 5-0 advantage heading into the final’s second leg.

 

It was more of the same in the reverse fixture, Fahad’s relentless pressure and stubborn defence ensuring a consecutive clean sheet while producing three more goals of her own, with a Kylian Mbappe brace and another goal from Ronaldo seeing her bag a 3-0 victory at the final whistle. Fahad’s 8-0 demolition job on aggregate saw her crowned champion in the women’s event, making it an Asian double across both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

 

Final results:

 

Men’s final:

 

Masih Mohafezatkar, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences (IRI) 2-2 Amran Al Dhuhli, Modern College of Business and Science (OMA)*


*Al Dhuhli won 1-0 in the Golden Goal decider

 

Women’s final:

 

Najd Fahad, Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (KSA) 8-0 Alexssandra Batista, UniAteneu (BRA)

 

The full set of results from match-ups across the tournament can be found HERE: https://www.cbdu.org.br/side/fisu-esports/

 

FISU would like to thank all involved in the preparation, organisation and production of the highly successful first edition of the 2020 FISU eSports Challenge and congratulate not only the winners but all participants for being part of this historic event.