After winning the Italian ESL Qualifier in Naples organized by 'Gazzetta dello Sport' in April and consequently spending a week in the QLASHouse, Diego “Crazy_Fat_Gamer” Campagnani was now headed to his first ever participation in a major FIFA tournament at the Global Series Playoffs. His entourage was formidable and included his brother, the team coach and also a mental coach to help him out with the high stress levels. A few other QLASH staff members joined in on the trip, which is understandable given the event was to be played in the welcoming city of Amsterdam.
The tournament was to be played on 3 different days - Survival Day, Qualification Day and Decision Day. First, there was a Swiss Round where 4 wins meant progression to the elimination brackets and 4 losses meant elimination from the tournament. The Ro32 which came after the Swiss Round was probably the most crucial one, because a win at this stage would secure a spot for the most prestigious FIFA event - the eWorldCup scheduled to be played in London this August.
Arriving at the spacious Mediarena in Amsterdam where the event set up, we were welcomed by smiling staff and good overall organisation. It was now time to take a seat letting Diego concentrate and get ready to face some tough opposition. His first draw was against “Fredberg” who was in top form, winning the World Club Championship earlier in the year. The room was buzzing and it was time for some football action!
The SWISS ROUND
We did not start in the best way possible, just barely losing the first match. However, "CRAZY_FAT_GAMER” has proven more than once that he can bounce under pressure and he quickly remedied the situation by winning against his next 2 opponents, setting his score to a positive 2-1. Up next was the well-known player competing for Basel FC “TheStrxngeR” who showed class against Diego and sent him back to the drawing board as his score was now even - 2 wins 2 losses.
The final match of the first day was ready to be played and it was of utmost importance. It was going to determine whether we would go into the second day with a positive or negative score. Our draw was “Eisvogel” who was the Manchester Champion and one of the favorites to win the Amsterdam event. The match was as close as it can be and after the aggregate result of the two legs was even, we went on to extra time. Diego managed to once again score a goal and take the lead but the determination of “Eisvogel” was strong and he dragged the game into a penalty shootout. Unfortunately, after having a few chances to end the match in his favor, Diego was finally forced to wave the white flag and to accept defeat. A very strong blow to our ambitions and a mountain to climb on the following day to stay in the competition.
A hard blow
Diego had to shake off this unpleasant turn of events and use the evening to refresh his mind. On the next day the matches were going to start a bit earlier and we firmly believed we could still go through to the Ro32 if Diego played to the best of his abilities. It was not meant to be though and after one more match which ended after extra time Diego was out of the competition with a slightly bitter taste knowing he could have done better.
There is a saying "You can learn a line from victory and a book from defeat." and we know the invaluable experience "CRAZY_FAT_GAMER” extracted from the Global Series Playoffs will help him grow as a player and hopefully as a great champion in the future. He certainly has the necessary skills and mental attitude, recognizing his mistakes and learning from them. Hard work inevitably pays off and we will reach the top together, sooner or later!