15 April 2019 – Two South African gamers will return from London this week after having represented South Africa in the inaugural FIFA eNations Cup 2019. Ryan Bastos (Sinister5 Gaming) and Shiaan Rugbeer (Goliath Gaming) are the first two gamers to officially represent South Africa at a global FIFA competition.
The inaugural FIFA eNations Cup saw 20 national teams representing all FIFA confederations at the global competition held in Maidstone, London, this past weekend. South Africa were the only CAF member association side invited.
In addition to international glory and a prize pool of US$100,000 at stake for the teams, players selected by their member association for the FIFA eNations Cup had the chance to win up to 1,500 EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series points, providing them with an opportunity to take a significant step forward on the Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup™ 2019.
Team South Africa, seen by many as the underdogs in the tournament “group of death”, found themselves in Group A along with: England, Finland, France and Saudi Arabia. The South African duo put up a good fight against some of the best FIFA players in the world but eventually did exit at the group stage. Eventually Team France came out victorious and was crowned the winners of the first ever FIFA eNations Cup
SAFA Acting CEO, Mr. Russell Paul said the Association was honoured by the invitation to participate in the first-of-its-kind event, adding that it was part of SAFA’s future plans to be visibly active in eSports.
“We are thrilled to have been involved in such an exciting initiative. The ever-growing world of gaming and technology in football is a space that SAFA intends to be a part of. We need to be relevant to all South Africans and that includes young people who are actively involved in gaming,” said Paul.
SAFA would like to extent its appreciation to the SA gaming community for their support, as well as our partners in e-sports that made this opportunity possible. rAge/NAG were instrumental in the overall organisation. Their invaluable guidance and stewardship of e-Sports in SA merit a big thanks. The SA Champs tournament hosts ACGL were also professional and enthusiastic partners. Inqaku were instrumental in securing the invitation and coordinating operations and media. The duo of Gabi and Michele Brondani from Goliath Gaming who accompanied our team and fill the roles of media representative and coaches, respectively, were tireless supporters of our team. And lastly the team itself, Ryan and Shiaan, conducted themselves as professionals at all times and will no doubt be heard from in the future as e-sports in SA — and FIFA in particular — grows to new heights.