Veröffentlicht am 13.12.21

Everything about the EA Sports FIFA franchise

What is fifa

The FIFA series is a series of soccer simulations, the offshoots of which have been published annually since 1996 and which are developed by EA Sports (part of Electronic Arts, EA for short). Since 1999 it has also been possible to play online games against human opponents from all over the world via the Internet. While the players were in direct contact with each other at the beginning and had to exchange an IP address in order to be able to play against each other, this is much easier today. Because today you can find an opponent for some games in EA Sports' football simulation at almost any time.

This has also changed quite a bit over the years in other respects, while the players used to compete against each other on the virtual turf with the most famous club and national teams, so over time the events have moved more and more towards the ultimate team game mode relocated, a mode to which we will devote ourselves in the further course of this text in more detail.

But in the first step we would like to dedicate ourselves to the beginnings of FIFA eSports and reveal how competitive FIFA gaming began.

The history of the FIFA franchise and FIFA eSports

Since the games from the FIFA series are football simulations, the games have always been ideally suited to being played competitively against each other. With FIFA International Soccer, which was first published exclusively for Sega's Mega Drive in 1993, you could challenge your friends on the virtual lawn, at the Sega console, for the first time. However, only a short time later, the title was also implemented for the PC, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES for short) and a number of other systems.

The following year, FIFA Soccer 95, which was published exclusively on Sega's Mega Drive, was the first title in the series to have a year in the title. Its successor, FIFA Soccer 96, was released for the first time in 1995 for the PC and also celebrated its debut on the PlayStation console from Sony. In addition, the title was also published again on Nintendo's SNES as well as on other consoles.

EA Sports then kept the annual release rhythm of the game series and in 1996 released FIFA 97, the fourth part of the series. 1997 they even released two games from the series of which FIFA 64, which was released exclusively for the Nintendo 64 console, but became a flop.

In return, FIFA 98: Road to World Cup, the latest part of the main series, was able to convince the majority of the players and also offered the players, at least on the PC, the opportunity to play online for the first time. At that time, this was possible with the help of a modem, but matchmaking as it is today did not exist back then. Another highlight of FIFA 98 was the indoor mode, which was featured in FIFA 98 for the last time in a game in the series.

The following year, two games from the series appeared again, of which the FIFA World Cup France '98 was an independent offshoot of the 1998 World Cup in France. In this title you could replay the entire World Cup tournament with the national team of your choice and even contest a world championship together with friends. You couldn't do all of that in FIFA 99, but in addition to the most important national teams, the club teams from many leagues were on board again.

In the years to come, not too much should change this recipe for success for the Fifa series, but with the appearance of FIFA 2000, the series also started rolling online for the first time. At that time, the first leagues, such as the Fifa Modem League (FML for short), were founded, in which the players could compete against each other.

This development also benefited from the fact that DSL Internet access became more and more widespread at this time and players no longer had to dial into the Internet for minute prices, but could fall back on the first Internet flat rates. In contrast to a modem, you could use it to access the Internet at a significantly lower cost.

The first major FIFA tournaments

The first major FIFA event in 2000 was the World Cyber Games (WCG for short), which took place in South Korea. Until 2013, this event was considered the Olympics of eSports and had the status of a World Cup for the players in the FIFA series. Up until the last edition of the WCG in 2013, in contrast to today's tournaments, Fifa was always hosted on the PC. In the first edition, three local heroes from South Korea took first places and Lee Ji-hun was crowned the first winner of the World Cyber Games in FIFA 2000.

This was inherited the following year by his compatriot Kim Doo-hyung, who won the 2001 World Cyber Games, but in the second edition of this event, a European, the Italian Francesco di Dio, was able to take second place.

This result was also evidence of the increasingly professional FIFA scene in Europe, where a number of new teams were forming at the time. And quite a few of them had their origins in Germany and listened to names like “eSports United” (eSu for short), “pro-Gaming” (pG for short) or “a-Losers” (aL for short).

Nevertheless, in 2002, with the South Koreans Hwang Sang-woo and Kim Doo-hyung, two South Koreans were once again at the top of the World Cyber Games in Daejeon. But with Stefan Berndt, a German also made it into the top three for the first time and he was also able to take first place in the first-ever 2on2 competition and thus secured Germany the first German gold medal at the World Cyber Games up to then.

The Fifa Twins Dennis and Daniel Schellhase

At this time, especially in Germany, the national Fifa scene was picking up speed and so the Electronic Sports League (ESL) decided in 2003 to include Fifa2003 among the games that were played in the ESL Pro Series. Strictly speaking, it was the predecessor of today's ESL championship, where Fifa was only played as a team at the beginning, with 5 against 5. At the beginning of an encounter, a draw was drawn to determine which players would meet in a direct duel and play two games against each other, in which the aim was to get points for one's own team.

Already in the first season two players attracted attention who started for the a-Losers team (aL for short). The two twin brothers Daniel and Dennis Schellhase, who subsequently made a name for themselves as the “Fifa Twins” and appeared in various television shows, among other things.

In the middle of 2003 they switched to the then leading organization pro Gaming (pG for short) in Fifa and also became an exclusive part of the Fujitsu Siemens Computers team before they experienced their first great moment at the 2003 World Cyber Games. Because there Dennis was able to secure the gold medal against his brother Daniel in the final and the two also won the 2 against 2 variant at this event, which was held this year for the last time.

And at the World Cyber Games 2005 in Singapore, Dennis Schellhase, who competed under the nickname “styla”, was able to secure his second title.

Encouraged by this, his brother did the same and was even able to take first place in the World Cyber Games twice in a row in 2006 and 2007.

In Germany, too, the two FIFA Twins dominated the competition almost at will, both with their teams and in individual tournaments and were able to win 9 German championships as a team (3 with pro gaming and 6 with SK gaming), 4 European championships in Team as well as a total of five German individual championships. In contrast to his brother Dennis Schellhase also won the European Championships twice, but Daniel Schellhase landed in 2009, when he last participated in the World Cyber Games, behind his German compatriot Joshua "Kr0ne" Begehr, again in second place in the then most important international tournament in Fifa eSport.

In 2010, however, the two Fifa Twins ended their 8-year Fifa career in order to concentrate fully on their professional future in the future. Nevertheless, even after the retirement of these two exceptional players, there was no need to worry about the youngsters in this country and so after Joshua “Kr0ne” Begehr in 2010, Kevin “Daimonde” Santner, a German Fifa player, was able to win the World Cyber title again Secure games. Following this, Kai “deto” Wollins made it very clear, with his double success in the 2011 and 2012 editions, who was the most successful Fifa nation at the time.

Tim “Schiewe” Schiewe's second place at the last edition of the World Cyber Games 2013, which was almost disappointing by German standards, could not change that much.

However, eSports began to change extremely strongly at this time, also due to the increasing efforts of EA and Fifa in this area. And these changes did not take place on the PC, as was usual before, but increasingly on the consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

Fifa eSport in transition

Because while the Fifa Twins were able to celebrate their greatest successes in the PC sector at the World Cyber Games, Fifa, in cooperation with EA Sports, launched the Fifa Interactive World Cup in 2004, for which the players can use the consoles from Sony and Microsoft since then have been able to qualify annually.

Over time, the ESL also reacted to the changes in the field of Fifa eSports and in 2014 also switched the game operations of the ESL championship, which had already only been organized in 1-on-1 in the years before, to the PlayStation 4 from Sony. At the end of 2018, the ESL also announced that they would even completely forego hosting a championship in Fifa in the future, which means that an era has come to an end, at least temporarily.

On the PC, however, FIFA has largely degenerated into a marginal phenomenon over time, also because you cannot even qualify for the most important tournaments via this platform.

The most important tournaments for Fifa players today are usually the offshoots of the national football leagues and the Fifa eWorld Cup, as the FIWC has been called since 2018. However, as part of the qualification for the official World Cup, a whole series of offline tournaments will be held today, in which the best players in the world will face each other in direct comparison.

And these days, it is not uncommon for them to be under contract with a real football club in order to represent it on the virtual turf.

The first football clubs get into Fifa eSport

The trend towards soccer clubs that sign their own Fifa players began in May 2015, how could it be otherwise, also in Germany. At that time, VfL Wolfsburg was the first club in this country to sign their own Fifa players, a step that no other club had dared to take before. However, it was also a model that several clubs would follow in the following time, of which FC Schalke 04, in May 2016, was one of the first.

But this trend by no means ended in this country, so that today a large number of the most famous football clubs already have their own eSportsmen under contract, who mostly represent the club on the virtual pitch.

On the other hand, it is much rarer that the clubs are involved in other eSports titles in addition to Fifa, as FC Schalke 04 does in League of Legends and thus has so far been one of the exceptions, not only in this country.

And something else has changed compared to before, namely the game mode in which Fifa has been played at major tournaments since 2017. Because while the players used to compete against each other with their favorite club or national teams, today they put their teams together in the Fifa Ultimate Team mode (FUT for short). The players have the opportunity to use all player cards contained in Fifa, as well as a number of special cards from these, which are published in the course of a Fifa year.

FIFA esports today

One of the reasons why many sports clubs are still reluctant to become involved outside of football simulations such as Fifa is that the German Football Association has so far only committed itself to "eFootball" and has even tried to differentiate it from other eSports titles, which by no means corresponds to reality. Because both Fifa and League of Legends and Counterstrike are eSports.

Nevertheless, Fifa eSport, especially in terms of public attention, has benefited greatly in recent years from the entry of associations and clubs from real football. Today, many of the most important Fifa tournaments are broadcast in full on the Internet, of course including a commentator, just like in real football. And some of these tournaments can even be watched on TV, Sport1, eSport1 or Pro7 Maxx. This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Just like the first season of the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship, which recently ended in March 2019 and in which 22 representatives from the first two leagues determined the German champions. Here the SV Werder Bremen team, with the players Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkous, Michael “Megabit” Bittner and Eleftherios “Leftinho” Ilias, finally secured the championship.

Which also led to Mohammed "MoAuba" Harkous and Michael "Megabit" Bittner being appointed to the squad of the German eNational team of the DFB and officially at the console for Germany for the first time as part of the first FIFA eNations Cup in April 2019 Start went.

Unfortunately, the German team did not succeed in this tournament and they had to pack their bags after the preliminary round while France was crowned the winner of the first FIFA eNations Cup.

In return, Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkous crowned the 2019 FIFA season from a German perspective on August 4th, 2019 and also made history with his success at the final of the Fifa eWorld Cup (FeWC for short). Because there “MoAuba” prevailed against a number of the strongest Fifa players in the world and was the first German player to win the official World Cup in Fifa, which is organized every year by the World Football Association in cooperation with EA Sports.

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