Following a day of extreme skill and tactics on EA Sports FIFA 09 on PS3, Bruce Grannec beat the charismatic Mexican Ruben Zerecero 3:1 in a typically enthralling final in front of a packed crowd next to the beach at Port Olympic. In addition to being crowned FIWC09 Champion, the 22 year old Frenchman also received USD 20,000 and an all new KIA Soul car. He will also receive his FIFA Diploma at the next FIFA World Player Gala, where he will rub shoulders with the best real-life footballers in the world. "I am very proud of this victory", said a delighted Bruce Grannec after the final he deservedly won. "It pays back hours and hours of practice which prepared me to compete on such a big stage. It proves that, if you work hard, you will have success."
"FIFA recognises the best in football, today we are recognising the best virtual football players", said FIFA Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer. "I was pleased to see the passion and the outstanding technical skills shown by the 32 competitors, who made their way to the final out of an incredible number of more than 500.000 online participants. The sun, the side events and the beautiful location made this Grand Final a fantastic FIFA football event."
The Grand Final provided players with the opportunity to perform on the biggest stage of their lives in front of 8,000 spectators, who enjoyed the entertainment that the world’s largest football gaming tournament provides.
"Congratulations to Bruce who managed to become the FIWC 09 World Champion out of over 500,000 qualifiers which is an amazing achievement," said Matt Bilbey, Vice President International Marketing, EA SPORTS. "With the fantastic increase in the number of participants, the FIWC 09 was a great success for everybody involved. We’re looking forward to expanding the tournament in the upcoming years, especially with the FIFA World Cup 2010 happening next year in South Africa."
"The finals in Barcelona have been a fitting finale, for what has been a truly remarkable competition", said Darren Carter, Vice President Consumer Marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. "We offer our warmest congratulations to this year’s winner Bruce Grannec, who by coming out on top over half a million competitors, showed great skill and an unbreakable determination along the way. These are the characteristics that make the FIFA Interactive World Cup so special and we look forward to continuing our association with this wonderful competition next year."
Other entertainment on display included an exclusive performance by football trickster John Farnworth and a demonstration of komball (a freestyle football show), while spectators were also able to take part in the mini beach soccer tournament that was being run by Spain’s beach soccer star and FIFA Beach Soccer World Player 2008 Ramiro Amarelle. The gaming and entertainment lounges remained busy throughout the day as the public enjoyed experiencing EA SPORTS’s latest gaming titles and PlayStation’s latest next-generation entertainment products.
After seven months of qualification with over 500,000 players having competed in the online qualification and with 19 live qualifier events having been held at locations around the globe, including New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Brazil and India, the Grand Final marked the end of the fifth and most successful FIFA Interactive World Cup to date.