The AoC Sport FIFA Cup 2021 has now come to an end. Over 20% of England’s colleges took part in weeks of group stages, which was later followed by a competitive playoff bracket. Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer, Alice Leaman breaks down the action.
The FIFA Cup hosted 52 colleges from across the country who competed in weekly fixtures from March to May. The Cup was split into two competitions: Xbox and PlayStation, with 41 teams in the Xbox One tournament and 38 teams in the PlayStation 4 tournament.
The Cup had a separate tournament for Xbox and PlayStation users, and used the following format:
- Group stage: teams played a variety of opponents to earn points
- Playoffs: the top team from each group went through to single elimination bracket
From all the teams that got involved, Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College and Birmingham Metropolitan College have emerged victorious as the PS4 and XBOX winners.
Xbox Winners: Birmingham Metropolitan College
Finals result: BMet College 9 – 0 Tyne Met College
Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) remained dominant throughout the competition. They did not drop a fixture throughout the group stage and emerged top of group 7 with 15 points to guarantee a ticket into the playoffs.
BMet continued their winning streak in the playoffs, first facing Bolton Sixth Form College then taking on last year’s winners in Priestley College. Despite facing last year’s champions, Bmet remained undeterred and won 6 out of 9 games, thus securing their spot in the finals.
High from their victories, BMet stormed into the finals and were victorious over Tyne Met College, not dropping a single game to triumph 9-0 in the final.
The Most Valuable Player (MVP) from BMet must go to Miles Nethercot, who did not drop a single game throughout the whole tournament!
Birmingham Metropolitan College was represented by:
- George Handsaker
- Miles Nethercot
- Daniel Day
“It was an honour to represent my college and to win was even better.” – George Handsaker
Ryan Shaw, staff team manager, said: “The whole experience was completely new to us but it was all about just getting some enjoyment in for the students while transitioning from lockdown. I’m very proud of the students for the effort they have shown and this has all paid off by becoming national champions.”
Playstation Winners: Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College
Finals results: WQE College 5 – 4 New College Pontefract
Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I (WQE) College were a strong team throughout the group stages securing top spot in group 2 with 15 points.
Into the playoffs, WQE had some close matches against their opponents Youth Dreams Project and Gateshead College. Their route to the finals was through many tense matches, however WQE’s players had the skill to push forward and earn their spot in the finals.
After their series of victories in the quarter and semi finals, WQE entered the finals and managed to close out the victory 5-4 in a highly skilled match up against New College Pontefract.
WQE College was represented by:
- Farhan Cassia
- Muhammed Ali
- Abdul Ahad Ussen
Alex Newton staff team manager said: “The Esports FIFA competition was fantastic. In a year where access to practical sport has been very limited, the students really enjoyed competing, being part of a team and representing the College.”
Muhammed Ali commented: “The tournament was fun and I enjoyed taking part. I hope to pursue my esports career with this tournament making me realise my potential.”
Abdul Ahad Ussen said: “I had a great time participating in this tournament, I have hardly played any sport this year but the FIFA tournament gave me the opportunity to participate in something I really enjoy.”
Farhan Cassia commented: “With the absence of participating in physical sport I decided to enter the esports competition. This has made me realise the potential I have of becoming an esports competitor. I really had fun in this tournament as it allowed me to see what other areas I am good at within my life. This tournament has allowed me to indulge in gaming which is one my favourite hobbies and I really enjoyed it”
Both Birmingham Metropolitan College and Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College will receive winners’ trophies and British Esports merchandise for the student players.
Dean Hardman, AoC Director of Sport and Student Experience, said: Congratulations to everyone involved at Birmingham Metropolitan College and Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College for their excellent performances in our second Fifa Tournament. Having started out as an alternative to our regular competitions during the original “lockdown”, these tournaments are quickly becoming a regular part of our AoC Sport programme and we are delighted with how they have been embraced by the college community. They provide yet another way in which students can work as a team and represent their institutions with pride. A huge thanks to everyone who took part, as well as our partners at the British Esports Association for their continued support.”
Alice Leaman, Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer, commented: “Well played to all teams in the FIFA Cup and congratulations to our winners: Birmingham Metropolitan College and Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College. This past year has been challenging for many colleges, and especially the students, so we are proud to help enable the players to still get involved in a national competition where they could represent their college in a title that they all enjoy and love.”
“It was an honour to represent my college and to win was even better.” – George Handsaker, Player from Birmingham Metropolitan College“The Esports FIFA competition was fantastic. In a year where access to practical sport has been very limited, the students really enjoyed competing, being part of a team and representing the College.” Alex Newton, Staff Team Manager at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College