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UPDATED: Saturday, July 16 (2:05 pm)

Quarterfinal Exit

It was a painful match as Paulo Neto got eliminated from the FIFAe World Cup 2022 after falling in the Quarterfinals against EmreYilmaz with an aggregate score of 5-3.

Round of 16 Domination

Paulo Neto has qualified to the Quarterfinals of the FIFAe World Cup 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Atlanta United Brazilian gamer dominated his match vs French and FC Lorient gamer LJR_Peixoto, winning by 7-2 in aggregate.

The first leg was a game of balance, with Paulo testing his opponent and beating him 2-0. But immediately after the second leg began, Paulo cruised through and scored five more goals, while conceding twice.

With this result, Paulo makes it to the Top 8 gamers in the world and is now going to face Dutch gamer EmreYilmaz from Team Gullit in the Quarterfinals. Emre beat German Dullen Mike in the Round of 16 by 8-1, and in the Group Stage finished second of Group B with 21 points.

The match is scheduled to begin at 12:15 pm ET (6:15 pm local time in Denmark).

Group Stage

Paulo Neto finished first in Group A of the FIFAe World Cup with 28 points after 14 matches played between Thursday and Friday. He won eight of those matches, tied four and lost only two, while being the top scorer of the Group Stage with a staggering 35 goals scored.

The Brazilian left behind some heavy contenders of the FIFAe World Cup like Dutch sensation deWeerd (Team Gullit) and Danish TeamHajj01 (Ooderoo Thunders), who didn't make it out of the group. Only four players out of eight made it to the Knockout Rounds, including fellow eMLS gamer Lamps (Minnesota United).

Paulo now will face a two-legged series in the Round of 16 agains French gamer LJR_Peixoto (FC Lorient), who finished fourth in Group C.

Watch all goals by Paulo Neto in Day 1 of the FIFAe World Cup

Watch all Goals by Paulo Neto in Day 2 of the FIFAe World Cup

COPENHAGEN - The time has finally come. 

Paulo Neto will become the first eSports athlete to represent Atlanta United in a FIFAe World Cup. The tournament will return this year in Copenhagen, Denmark from Thursday, July 14 to Sunday, July 17, after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paulo had also qualified last year.

What is the FIFAe World Cup? 

The FIFAe World Cup is a tournament held annually in conjunction by FIFA, soccer's governing body, and EA Sports, one of the leading video game developers in the world and presenting partner, and just like its physical counterpart, it is the most prestigious tournament a FIFA gamer could hope for. Each year, the tournament is played under the most current iteration of the FIFA video game franchise, in this case the players will use FIFA 22. 

The first FIFAe World Cup was played in 2004 in Zurich, Switzerland making this year’s competition the sixteenth in history, and it has been hosted by nine different countries, with Los Angeles and New York City the only two host cities from the United States. Because millions of people compete in the initial online stages to qualify to the event, it has been recognizes as the largest online eSports game by the Guinness World Records. 

The current champion is German Mohammed Harkous, better known in the Gaming community as MoAuba, who defeated 2018 World champion Mosaad Aldossary (Msdossary), in 2019 in London. MoAuba will not compete in this year’s FIFAe World Cup. 

Atlanta United will be represented by Paulo Neto, our Brazilian gamer who has been with the club since December 2019. Only one Brazilian has won the competition so far, Thiago Carrico de Azevedo in 2004, and nobody representing an eMLS club has even made it to the final… yet.

Why does Atlanta United have a representation in the FIFAe World Cup? 

It’s a great question! Similar to how soccer players get to represent their country in the FIFA World Cup, a gamer gets the opportunity to compete in the FIFAe World Cup with the backing of a club or eSports organization. In this year’s competition all the gamers, except one, belong to a team just like a soccer player has a contract with his corresponding club. 

Paulo Neto, 19, signed with Atlanta United in December 2019, after playing for one year with Brazilian eSports powerhouse SPQR. Together, Paulo and ATL UTD, have won six tournaments, including the eMLS Cup 2022, the FGS 22 Masters Cup (with Vini Leiva) and the eMLS Tournament Special at the beginning of the pandemic where he played alongside former ATL UTD defender Franco Escobar. 

In November 2021, Atlanta United also signed Brazilian Vini Leiva, 24, becoming one of the first soccer organizations in North America to have a 2v2 team. Leiva has represented ATL UTD already in five tournaments, winning the FGS 22 Masters Cup and two other Top 4s. Vini is not an eMLS player but does represent Atlanta in international competitions. 

There are also two other tournaments that will be played in Copenhagen in the coming weeks, the FIFAe Nations Cup and the FIFAe Club World Cup, but neither Paulo or Vini will participate in them this year.

Paulo Neto reflects on qualifying to the FIFAe World Cup

How is the FIFAe World Cup played? 

In years past both PlayStation and Xbox consoles were used, but for 2022 PlayStation 5 became the official console of the FIFA22 professionals competitions, and it’s what will be used this week in Copenhagen. 

While only the top 32 FIFA gamers have gathered in Denmark this year, the tournament was open to anyone who loves to play FIFA and was registered in the FIFA 22 Global Series (FGS). To qualify to the FIFAe World Cup, gamers needed to first reach the Elite Division and compete in a series of local and regional online and in-venue tournaments. 

At the end of the FGS season, 128 gamers gathered to compete in the FGS Playoffs, which took place in London earlier this month and served as the qualifiers to the FIFAe World Cup. Out of those 128 gamers, 32 earned their spot in the World Cup, among those Paulo Neto. Vini Leiva also competed in the FGS Playoffs but unfortunately failed to qualify to the FIFAe World Cup.

What is the format for the FIFAe World Cup? 

There are 32 gamers competing in the FIFAe World Cup, divided into four groups of eight gamers each. The top 4 players in each group will advance to the Knockout rounds, where there will be a Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and the grand Final. 

Paulo Neto was seeded into Group A, and it’s one of the favorites to go through, although it won’t be an easy task as he will face some gamers he knows well like deWeerd from Team Gullit and Lamps from Minnesota United, the only other eMLS representative in the tournament. See Paulo’s group and get to know his opponents below. 

Each match will be played in six minute halves, and each gamer will play at least 14 matches in the FIFAe World Cup. The two that make it to the final would play a total of 22 matches.

Where to Watch and what’s the schedule? 

The FIFAe World Cup will be broadcast live on the FIFAe Twitch channel

The Group Stage will consist of a round-robin format and will be played on Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15. It will consist of 14 rounds, seven per day, allowing Paulo to play each of the other gamers twice. 

On Thursday, the first round will begin at 11:05 am local time (5:05 am ET) and the day will end with Round 7 around 2:30 pm local (8:30 am ET). Friday will also have that same timeline, with Round 8 beginning at 11:05 am and finishing with Round 14 around 2:30 pm, local time. 

The Knockouts will be played in two different days, with the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals being played on Saturday, with the first match-up in the Round of 16 starting also at 11:05 am local time (5:05 am ET) and the last Quarterfinal match-up ending roughly around 8 pm local (2 pm ET). The Semifinals and Final will be played on Sunday, starting with the first semifinal at 3:05 pm local (9 am ET) and the grand Final scheduled to kick-off at 5:30 pm local (11:30 am ET). For the Knockouts, each match-up will consist of two games and the winner will be decided by aggregate score. 

You can also follow all the action on our recently launched Twitter account dedicated exclusively to our eSports and Gaming initiatives, Twitter.com/ATLUTDGaming.

Atlanta United & Paulo Neto qualify to the FIFAe World Cup

Group A - FIFAe World Cup 2022
Group A - FIFAe World Cup 2022
Gamer
Team
Country
Paulo Neto
Atlanta United (USA)
Brazil
Young
SPQR Brasil (BRA)
Brazil
deWeerd
Team Gullit NIP (NED)
Netherlands
TeamHajj01
Ooredo Thunders (DEN)
Denmark
OneWayCrazyy
Brøndby eSports (DEN)
Denmark
Damesheet
ECV Sports (NED)
Netherlands
Lamps
Minnesota United (USA)
United States
StingraJnr
SAF (ENG)
England
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