Thursday 07 Jan
Updated Friday 08 Jan 00:04

Hammers set for week of Esports qualifiers

The 2020/21 footballing gaming season ramps up this week with all three of West Ham Esports’ players – Curtis ‘Paps’ Poole, Jonas ‘Jonna’ Ghebrehiwot and Alfie “AC RedLac” Calder – involved in qualifiers for top-tier FIFA 21 competitions.

Kicking off on Thursday and continuing onto Friday, Paps and Jonna will tackle the second of four rounds of qualification matches for the 2021 FIFAe eClub World Cup.

Contenders on PS4 and Xbox One respectively, Paps and Jonna will be looking to build on an impressive third-placed finish in Division 1 of Conference 3, Zone 4, in the first round of matches, which saw the Irons record several outstanding results.

In a long-form format which rewards one-off achievement as well as consistency, the FIFAe Club World Cup 2021 qualifiers have seen West Ham placed in an extremely competitive qualification group alongside the likes of pre-group favourites FaZe Clan, Germany’s Red Bull Leipzig and leading French team 4Gamer.  

Rounds 3 and 4 will follow soon after in the next fortnight as West Ham bid to become only the third Premier League side to reach the finals of the prestigious competition.

With each conference structured as a double-elimination knockout tournament, the Hammers go into the Round 2 of qualifiers seeded third, opening their campaign with a tie against FaZe Clan. 

Each match-up is a best-of-three affair – one standalone game on PS4, one standalone game on Xbox One, and a third on a randomly determined console, if required.

Each Division takes on the format of a double elimination knockout tournament, where you drop into a secondary tournament after your first loss, and a second will eliminate you from the competition.

Consistency Points are awarded based on where teams finish – winners, runners-up, third et cetera – in each Division, and are multiplied to reflect the Division’s status (for example, winning Division 1 is worth more points than winning Division 2); the Irons made a strong start in gaining 200 points in the first round.

Should any Division 1 side be one of the first two eliminated this week, they will drop into Division 2, while the top two sides in Division 2 will be promoted to Division 1 for the next round of qualifiers.

We have a lot of very good teams involved – every single team has the potential to qualify for the live event, so it’ll be very tough. Our conference has very experienced players, World Cup winners, and top, top players


Burnley FC Academy and Serious Esports are the new entrants in Division 1 for this round.

“I’m feeling good and I’ve been playing well in the last few weeks,” Jonna told “Our qualification group is obviously very, very difficult though.

“We have a lot of very good teams involved – every single team has the potential to qualify for the live event. Our conference has players who reach every major, World Cup winners, and top, top players – every game is going to be really difficult to win, so we need to focus on doing that.

“Our main goal first and foremost has to always be to stay in the top Division, and then we always try to get as good a result as possible.

“Last time around, Paps and I did very well – third place with some really good results, and we were disappointed to lose our last game. Looking back at it, though, we had a good run.

“I just want us to get everything out of it – I want to have show everything I’ve got, and if we get unlucky because of small margins, we’ll have to accept it. I want to show my best self and reach the highest level possible with West Ham.”

The weekend will subsequently see all three Hammers vie to become the first to qualify for a Global Series European Playoff tournament this season.

These online-only major tournaments contribute a significant amount of ‘Global Series Points’ to players’ overall global rankings for the game, with qualification a straight knockout – also highly competitive – affair.

Global Series points are highly valuable to the Hammers seeking to qualify for the eWorld Cup in 2021, while there is plenty of prize money to be won as well.

West Ham Esports’ progress can be chartered via the official Club World Cup website.

For more exciting FIFA 21 and gaming content, follow the official @WestHamEsports accounts on Twitter and Instagram.

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