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World’s First Football Manager Tournament Hailed a Success


5 June 2017 12:54

Football Manager could become the latest computer game to make a big impression in eSports, following Wildcard FC’s 4-3 extra-time victory over Hallsworth Harriers in the grand final of the inaugural FM17 Cup in London. The Manchester-based side were rewarded for their efforts with a £5,000 first place prize.

The FM17 Cup

Organised by Iain Macintosh, the UK-based FM17 Cup was designed to give fans of the virtual coaching game the chance to compete against other, with the hope it would lead to future tournaments and events both domestically and abroad.

The inaugural tournament saw four 16-player qualifiers held in London, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow from April 6th, and each regional winner then progressed through to the Grand Final in London on May 4th. There were 200 entries for the qualification stages, with players from as far as Denmark and the United States eager to showcase their talents. The qualification process included three virtual challenges, including getting Cheltenham Town as far as possible in a certain timeframe.

Macintosh corresponded with the game’s creators, Sports Interactive, prior to the tournament to ensure the action was as realistic as possible. Together, they came up with strict rules on a format for the competition that would keep an online audience interested.

They developed a system for ensuring competing teams in multiplayer mode were of a similar standard (they were designated squads filled with finely-balanced star players), a strict five-minute window for organising tactics prior to kick-off, and the option to take one-minute tactical timeouts. The five live streamed events, including the London-based finals, had an audience of around 60,000 viewers across the globe.

What is Football Manager?

Football Manager has grown to become one of the most popular sporting titles in the market, giving footballing fanatics worldwide the chance to live out their real-life footballing stories on a computer screen. Users take charge of every aspect of running their chosen club – from staffing and tactics to scouting opponents and courting sponsorship. Whether starting a new career as Manchester United in the Premier League or a semi-professional side in the Conference, the game really has captured the imagination for a number of years now. A new version is released annually, and the 2015 and 2016 versions reportedly attracted more than 1.1 million players each.

The Future

There are Football Manager online multiplayer modes as well as the single player mode, but there has never been a tournament of the calibre of the FM17 Cup before. Given the undoubted success of this inaugural competition, and the big impression the likes of FIFA have already made in eSports, there is no doubt Football Manager could grow to become a real force in the industry. Wildcard FC’s victory and £5,000 prize could be the first of many to come.

Pulished on: 2017-06-05

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