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ALBION'S FIFA PLAYERS CROWNED AT THE AMEX

13 February 2019

Kieran Cleeves
Ryan Caister and Dan Hilliard will represent Albion at the ePremier League finals.

Following last night’s ePremier League Club Playoff event, Brighton & Hove Albion’s representatives for next month’s ePremier League Final have been confirmed.
 
Over 700 people entered to be Albion’s Playstation or Xbox gamer, and compete against all 19 other Premier League clubs at the showpiece event at the Gfinity arena in London on the 28th and 29th March.
 
The participants were whittled down in online qualifiers that took place in early January, before being invited to the Amex to take part in the Club Playoff last night.
 
Here, 32 gamers battled it out for one PlayStation and one Xbox spot, and it was a tense finale as two lifelong Seagulls supporters sealed their spot in London.
 
In the PlayStation final, Dan Hilliard (aka Gingerninga95x) from Hove overcame Rhys Merritt (aka Scrafa98) 6-3 over the two legs.


 
After drawing 2-2 in the first match, Hilliard only had a narrow 2-1 margin until the final moments of the second leg, before showing his quality to win 4-1 and take the crown.
 
Following his match, Hillard commented, “To represent Brighton will be massive, I’ve grown up here and I support the club. I didn’t think I’d get this far, so there’s nothing to say I can’t go even further.”
 
Meanwhile in the Xbox final, George Bacon (aka George Baconn) agonisingly lost out to eventual winner Ryan Caister (aka flamingfish) on a golden goal after they could not be separated over the two legs.


 
After Caister won the first match 2-1, Bacon battled back to take the second 1-0 to force the tiebreaker. After a very tense period of play where both players had chances, it was Caister, an Albion season-ticket holder from Hastings, who took the glory and admitted the moment might take some time to sink in.
 
He said, “It will mean everything to represent Brighton. Even standing here with this shirt on, my name on the back and the ePremier League logo on the sleeve, I’m so happy. It’s going to take some time to process.”
 
ESports commentators Richard Buckley and Brandon Smith hosted the event, and gave their expert analysis throughout. Smith – an Albion supporter – is hoping that one of the two gamers can go all the way and take top spot at the grand final.


 
He said, “Why can’t Brighton & Hove Albion go on and win the whole thing? To be the first to win the ePremier League will be amazing. I’ll be supporting them as well as commentating, but it’s all about who can do well on the day in London.”
 
Albion first-team players Florin Andone and Bernardo were also in attendance at the event, and even found time to play a couple of their own matches of FIFA, and it seemed as though the Romanian striker got the better of his team-mate on the night.


 
Bernardo had his own advice for the two Albion representatives, saying, “It’s difficult for me to give them some advice, because they’re better than me, but especially because they’re Brighton fans, maybe they should try to have the same spirit as the team.

“Always take the games seriously — and even if you’re not the favourite, you never know, you can get a result against another player who is ranked higher than you."
 
Congratulations to Dan and Ryan who will be Albion’s first ever ePL representatives at the final, which will take place in London over two days and be broadcast live on Sky Sports and Premier League social media channels.


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