FIFA, the worldâs governing body of football, Electronic Arts Inc and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) this month announced the new season of the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC), the worldâs only official FIFA global football gaming competition. The FIWC is a season-long tournament mirroring the real world of football in which competitors from all around the world can participate playing EA SPORTS FIFA 09 on the PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3).
New Zealand will be the first country in the world to kick off FIWC 09, with the National Qualifier taking place at this yearâs Armageddon Expo at the Aotea Centre in Auckland from the 25th to the 27th of October. Simply turn up to register to compete on 25th and 26th and be in with the chance of reaching the National Final in the central Armageddon hall on the 27th.
The Kiwi Champion will win an all expenses paid trip to the Grand Final where the best 32 players from across the globe will compete to be crowned FIFA Interactive World Player of the Year. The World Champion will be rewarded with an invitation to the FIFA World Player Gala along with a USD 20,000 cash prize and an all new KIA âSoulâ. For the first time in the tournamentâs history, the runner up will receive USD 5,000, while the player coming third will be awarded USD 1,000.
This year marks the fifth FIWC season, which will kick off with the launch of FIFA 09 on 3 October. Players will be able to compete at one of 19 FIWC 09 live qualifier events across the globe, kicking off in New Zealand on 25 October and covering countries all over the world, including Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Italy, South Africa and the US. Players will also be able to compete for the 13 places available in the final for the best online players via the PLAYSTATION Network.
Hopeful competitors can get a head start and practise their skills for the tournament from today by playing the official FIFA 09 PS3 demo available for download worldwide now via PLAYSTATION Network. Registration for participating in the online leg of the FIWC 09 tournament will take place directly inside the retail version of FIFA 09 on the PS3 in early October.
âThe FIFA Interactive World Cup has established itself as a premier gaming tournament, and the only one under the FIFA banner. Over the last years I have witnessed incredible virtual football action which promises thrilling games and excitement at the upcoming interactive season. I am really looking forward to the kick-off of the 5th edition where everyone has the unique chance to become a real FIFA World Cup champion,â said FIFA Executive Member Chuck Blazer, himself an avid gamer.
âOver the last four years, the FIFA Interactive World Cup has become the gaming competition for football fans and gamers. Itâs the only tournament in which competitors can play as their football heroes and have their virtual skills recognised by FIFA, the real life world governing body of football,â said Matt Bilbey, Senior Director, Sports Marketing, EA. âWith our partners at FIFA and PlayStation, weâre excited for this yearâs season to kick off when FIFA 09 launches in early October. The development team has done an incredible job in making FIFA 09 even more authentic and fun to play, so make sure you get a taste of it now and start practicing with the demo on PLAYSTATION Network.â
âThis year is PlayStationâs second season involved in the FIWC and we are very excited to see the tournament grow and evolve to establish itself as the biggest online football tournament in the world,â said Darren Carter, VP for Brand and Consumer Marketing, SCEE. âThis season players will be able to truly understand the unique experience FIFA 09 on PLAYSTATION 3 and PLAYSTATION Network offers and we look forward to seeing players from around the world go onto the PLAYSTATION Network and get practising immediately.â
During last yearâs tournament, players spanning the globe from New Zealand to South Africa, Brazil to Korea to the USA and Italy dribbled and scored their way through the tournamentâs 20 live qualifiers, while over 25,000 players competed in the online leg. In the end, it was Alfonso Ramos from Spain who emerged victoriously from the Grand Final in Berlin. He will join his real life football heroes on the 12th of January 2009 at the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich to accept his trophy.
EA SPORTS FIFA 09 for the PlayStation 3 is now powered with dynamic real-world data and analytics, lifting the game to new heights of authenticity for football fans and gamers connected online. The adidas Live Season* service is based on how real players performed in the most recent real-world matches. Gameplay will change dynamically as the performance of players and football teams in the real world experience the highs and lows during their campaigns. Additionally over 250 gameplay additions and enhancements, Custom Team Tactics, 10v10* Online Team Play and the enhanced Be A Pro: Seasons will offer players a unique football experience that matches the complexity, finesse and beauty of the real-world game. To learn more about FIFA 09 visit www.FIFA09.ea.com.
Owners of the 360 version can play against NZGamer staff by adding 'NZGamer dot com' as a friend on Xbox Live.