English football fans still bereft of a national team to cheer on in this summer's Euro 2008 championships now have a new team to rally around: Three game players from the UK are heading to Berlin in May to take part in the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2008 Final.Thirty-two FIFA 08 players from around the world have qualified for the finals, which will be held at the Sony Center in Berlin on May 24. The winner will not only be crowned the FIFA Interactive Player of the Year, but will also take home a $20,000 cash prize. Defending champion Andries Smit of the Netherlands will be vying to retain his title in the face of global opposition. England, the United States, and Australia each have three finalists, with countries such as Korea, Slovakia, South Africa, and Mexico also sending representatives.
There have been 20 live qualifying tournaments for the finals, and over 25,000 entrants in the online competition run via the PlayStation Network. England's three representatives are Chris Bullard, a previous winner of the title who has been to three FIWC Grand Finals; Max Fayers, who qualified via an online competition; and Danny Taylor, the world's top-ranked online player. Danny explained in a recent interview with SportsGamer.com that he usually played between 5 and 10 games each day, against opponents who were level 20 or above, to get ready for the World Cup.
GameSpot UK will be keeping an eye on the action on May 24, which will include a live performance by German hip-hop artist Das Bo as well as many special football guests.