Saturday, March 23, 2019
MoAuba and Lev stride through Swiss stage
Mohamed “MoAuba” Harkous and Lev “xLevVinken” Vinken set the pace on day one of FIFA Gfinity Series March with both players picking up the three in as many games to sail through the Swiss style group stage.
The two PlayStation 4 players’ feats were matched by British pair Tom “Rebel Stokes” Stokes and Harry “Hashtag Harry” on the Xbox One side of the draw, and they will hope to continue their form on Championship Sunday in the hunt for the $8,750 prize money, and perhaps more crucially the 850 FIFA Global Series points.
Four players rise highest
MoAuba picked up a nervy 6-4 victory over Mert “iMertAL” Altintop in his first matchup, before an end-to-end thrills and spills clash against Mark “FUTWIZ Marko” Brijeski in which the German claimed a 10-8 triumph. The Wolfsburg faced his toughest opponent in Stefano “PSV Pinna97” in his third group game, but in a more measured style, he held on to a 2-1 aggregate win.
As for Lev, the Dutchman got underway with a chess-match victory over Marvin “B04 M4RV” Hintz, getting over the line with a 2-1 win. He then met the Israeli Roee Feldman in the second round of fixtures, with Lev showing his class in a crushing 7-3 win over two legs.
On the Xbox side of the things, Stokes did the double over Brazilian pairing Ramon “SPQR BitFrank” Chaves Souza and Bruno “SPQR Bruno” Neto. Stokes was on fire, and he showed no sign of letting up when he put World Champions Mosaad “Rogue Msdossary” Aldossary to the sword in a 7-3 thrashing. No one will fancy themselves against the Brit on Sunday.
Hashtag Harry has had a difficult season, but he finally came to the party with victories over Yann “I Cursorr I” Robin, Maximilian “MaXi’ Mayrhofer and Max “MaXe vip” Popov. A win on penalties against Cursorr got the ball rolling, before defeating MaXi 7-2 and MaXe vip 5-3.
DaXe and Pinna leave it late
Of course, not all players have the virtue of qualifying after three matches, with some having to a hold their nerve in the fifth and final match of the group stage. One of these was Lucas “PSG DaXe” Cuilerrier who had to recover from a round 4 loss to Bartosz “ALSEN bejott”. The second highest ranked Xbox player kept his head to pull an emphatic result out of the bag, dismantling Joel Roman “N8 JAz” Andruskiewicz 9-2. If he can replicate that kind of performance on Sunday, he could sneak into the title frame.
The most drama came around Stefano “PSV Pinna97” Pinna, who had to rely on a penalty shootout victory in the fifth round over Christopher “NYC_Chris” Holly. Pinna had earlier picked up fantastic wins over Doolsta and Fatih “M10Ustun” Ustun, but defeats to MoAuba and Nicolas “Nicolas99fc” Villalba left it down to his final contest. The World Cup runner-up went 2-0 down to Chris, but fought back to take it to extra time. After a 4-4 thriller, the PSV Eindhoven man claimed the W on penalties, and with a sigh of relief, qualified for the knockouts.
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