FUT 19 Champions Cup April, London: Dossary, Tekkz rivalry heats up

Unlike past tournaments, the opening day of April's FUT Champions Cup --- the final major before the FIFA 19 Global Series Playoffs- - only featured just half of the 64 competitors. This time around, the schedule had been broken up by the players' respective home consoles, and only the 32 that preferred Xbox got the call on the first day; on Saturday, the broadcast will turn to the PlayStation side.

Among the Xbox candidates, only one name -- a familiar one -- came out unscathed. Michael "Vfl Megabit" Bittner, the Xbox winner from last May's Global Series Playoffs, was eliminated on the first day of last month's tournament to complete a poor outing in Singapore. But today he seemed to have regained his 2018 form, posting marquee wins over Mosaad "Rogue Msdossary" Aldossary and PSG eSports' Lucas "PSG DaXe" Cuillerier en route to a 5-0 record.

Aldossary, who won his last major this past December, was the other early exit that shocked audiences in March. Much like Megabit, the Saudi Arabian followed suit Friday, posting a 4-1 record and exorcising his past demons in the fifth Swiss round against perennial champ Donovan “F2TeKkz” Hunt. Msdossary won the matchup, 5-1.

Perhaps the real story of the opening day of action on the Xbox side was the banterous back and forth between the two champs, Aldossary and Hunt. FIFA community staple, esports host, occasional YouTuber, and Hashtag United founder Spencer Owen stirred things up between the two, getting each to offer a little provocative back-and-forth about the other before their eventual one-sided matchup. You have to see it to believe it:

Hunt, whose name we’ve grown used to seeing atop the standings this FIFA, was farther down the table than he’d hoped to be after the day one. The Exeter, England, UK native had not lost a single matchup during the 2019 calendar year, having won the past three tournaments with an undefeated record. Today, the six-time champ finished 3-2, just barely squeezing into the knockout rounds.

Tekkz's bold provocation above ultimately seemed to haunt him Friday, but no one would be surprised if the two meet again in the knockouts. Dossary had the last laugh as we head into Saturday and then Sunday's deciding action:

Speaking of Hashtag, the football club/esports org's two players to feature in the event, Harry Hesketh and Ryan Pessoa, endured some late scares, but both managed to eke out their opponents in the final round to qualify for the knockouts. Harry outlasted his opponent, Beto19Avila, 5-3 but it was Pessoa’s comeback that grabbed the headlines. Facing an 0-4 deficit after the first leg, Ryan blanked his opponent, blackarrow889, 5-0 in the second for perhaps the biggest result of the day. An 84th-minute Ronaldo tally from the edge of the box put the nail in the coffin.

Cuillerier, Msdossary, FaZe clan’s Tassal Rushan, Rebel FC’s Tom Stokes, and German player DerGaucho10 rounded out the competitors who notched a 4-1 record on Friday. Among the names to be eliminated were surging Canadian competitor Nawid “Rogue GoalMachine” Noorzai, Schalke’s Tim Latka, Sakul, and Futwiz Jamie.

According to the original schedule for the event, the first stage of the knockout rounds was supposed to be played today; however, due to technical difficulties with Xbox match making services, it was moved to tomorrow, as the proceedings were delayed at one point for over an hour and a half.

Saturday will kick off with the Xbox Round of 16 matchups. The rest of the day will comprise of the Swiss rounds and the first knockout rounds for PlayStation. Coverage begins at 12 p.m. local time and 7 a.m. ET; the broadcast can be followed on Futhead’s home page or on the official EA SPORTS FIFA Twitch channel.

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