COMPETITIVE FIFA player Julio ‘Beast’ Bianchi, from Cape Town, has made history as the first South African ever to qualify for the FIFAe World Cup, set to take place in London in August 2021. He is 23 years old.
Bianchi, who is the squad captain for Goliath Gaming, went up against some of the best FIFA players in the West Asia region, in this past weekend’s qualifiers.
The FIFAe World Cup is an eSports tournament held by FIFA and its presenting partner EA Sports. Each tournament has players competing in games of the latest incarnation of the FIFA football video game series.
Bianchi made it through to the grand finals of the qualifiers, where he went head-to-head with FIFA World Cup champion Msdossary, and both players secured a spot to the FIFAe World Cup. Bianchi also won $20 000 in prize money for finishing in second place.
“It feels unreal to know that I’ve qualified to compete in the FIFAe World Cup – the biggest event on the FIFA calendar. It’s still sinking in! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would make it because I’ve had a tough past few weeks with studying and writing fourth-year exams, which have been a big focus for me, and the qualifiers themselves were unreal – so much excitement and so many surprises, in games from world-class contenders,” said Bianchi.
He said the support from his family and teammates motivated him.
“Everyone on social media and in the game chat, throughout the qualifiers, motivated me beyond words and made me feel invincible! That made a big difference. This achievement is for all of us. I’m going to go and give it my absolute best shot, and aim to make South Africa and Africa proud,” added Bianchi.
The FIFAe World Cup is the climax of EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series.
The event will feature 32 players from across the world, battling it out for part of its $500 000 prize pool. Taking place from August 6 to 9, the tournament will feature four groups of eight players each, as players face off to finish in the top four of their respective groups.
Those who qualify will enter into a single-elimination knock-out stage.
While the prize pool totals $500 000, the winner of the FIFAe World Cup 2021 will claim $250 000.