Philadelphia Union Hosts FIFA Tournament At Eastern

On March 30, the Philadelphia Union hosted a FIFA tournament at Eastern University. For all those who are unfamiliar with FIFA, it is a soccer game developed by EA Sports. The edition that was played at the mini tournament was FIFA 2016. FIFA 2016 was the first soccer video game to integrate the women’s soccer teams; thus the reason for Alex Morgan on the cover. This was an attempt by EA Sports to draw the attention of a different group of gamers.

Walking into the Eagle Great Room, there were roughly 20 people watching and about ten people eager to play. Most of the guys playing looked pretty intimidating. They sported their favorite team jersey and talked a pretty good game. They certainly had me worried. To defend my case, I only played FIFA 16 twice since it was released on Sept. 22, 2015.

This tournament was very exciting and I’m glad I joined in the fun. The room had two TVs set up against the wall with an Xbox One. Luckily for me, I was given the opportunity to play one of the first games of the tournament. My heart was nearly pounding and this was only a video game. I do not think I was nearly as nervous as when I was playing in my high school championship game. While my palms were sweating, my opponent looked calm and ready to destroy my life as a temporary gamer.

The part that terrified me was not being able to pick the team we were safe to play with. We had to randomize our picks; three chances and if you do not like any of the three teams, you get a suicide pick and have to stick with that team. The first game was an even match as I played with a team I have never heard of in the world of soccer (not that my soccer knowledge is that big).

The game started and I could not stay still. God must have been on my side because within two minutes I got a head ball within the 18 (certainly the highlight of my gaming career). My first issue on the other hand was figuring out the controls on defense. The opponent utilized this weakness and drove through my whole team with one player, rocketing a ball into the back of the net. At this point the crowd was getting into the game and before I knew it my opponent was winning 3-2. Luckily, I set my expectations low as I knew there was no way I could win the game. Well, like I mentioned before, God was on my side and, in the last five minutes of the game, I landed another header to tie the game. The overtime rule in the tournament ruled the winner in penalty kicks. My opponent and I did not know how to shoot penalty kicks, but luckily for me I snuck two past him for the victory.

Going into my next game with confidence, I was playing a student who seemed to know nothing about the game. I was eager to play because I felt he had no chance against me, granted that was the first game I have ever won. Well, I was certainly hustled. The kid who apparently did not know anything destroyed me 4-0.  I was hustled at a FIFA school tournament, not many people can say that.

Overall, the tournament was exciting and I would do it again. I wish there was a better turnout because the more competition the better. The lucky winner of the tournament was Xavier Young, and he will be going to PPL Park to play against other schools for the grand prize of $500.

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