With Week 3 of the Gfinity Elite Series Delivered by Domino’s now in the books, many teams have a good idea of what they’ll need to do from here on out to ensure a place in the playoffs in a few weeks time. Take a look back at all the action from a jam-packed Friday night right here!
Envy vs exceL
After pulling off a solid win over Method in the first round, exceL had a week off to ponder their performance and size up the rest of the competition. Envy’s Jas and Wavesz managed to build on an impressive start to make it two wins from two for them against Venny and Gary Magee of Method.
Jablett and Joey got off to a fast start as less than three minutes into the game, Johan Cruyff got on the end off a cross from Lucas to put Envy into the lead against Spaceeh and Painter. The lead didn’t last for too long though, as exceL were able to make it 1-1 with a beautifully caressed shot from Paulo Dybala before the half-hour mark.
Envy saw a good shot saved by Edwin van der Sar later in the half before exceL spurned a one-on-one with Eusébio, so with the scores level, both teams began the second half in search of a winner. exceL struggled to create many chances throughout the half while Envy probed away, with the exceL keeper forced to make a few more decent saves as the game wore on.
Ultimately neither team could force a winner, meaning that for the third week in a row, Envy’s Xbox team finished with a draw.
Jas and Wavesz had been one of the best duos to watch so far in the Elite Series, winning both of their games so far, and their opponents Klutch and Spaceeh were hoping for a second PS4 win having beaten Method in their opening fixture.
exceL had the first big chance of the game as they struck the post with Paulo Dybala inside the first ten minutes with a near repeat of the goal he scored in the Xbox leg. However, it was Envy who took the lead as they recovered the loose ball and manoeuvred upfield to present the chance for Alessandro Del Piero to give them the 1-0 lead.
Envy doubled their advantage through a Johan Cruyff strike with less than a minute to go in the half to put themselves in a strong position to claim a third consecutive victory. In the second half, Envy continued their pressure as they looked to kill off the game. The third goal didn’t come though, and exceL hit Envy on the counter to score through Andriy Shevchenko after a great save from Oblak had initially denied Kevin De Bruyne.
Envy almost put any thoughts of a comeback to bed, but Lucas’ close range shot came back off the post. Jas and LostInTheWavesz weren’t made to regret the miss as exceL couldn’t find an equaliser, meaning that Envy only need a point from their remaining game to guarantee a place in the playoffs.
Vitality vs Method
Method came into Week 3 knowing they needed to bag a victory if they were to stand any realistic chance of qualifying for the playoffs having lost both of their opening fixtures. Their opponents Vitality got off to a great start last time out with a win over Dream Team Gaming for the new-look partnership of Maestro and Rafsou. Despite that win, Method’s more recognisable pair of Brian and Moolzn lined up for both legs, with Method taking a similar approach by fielding Riptorek and Venny on both the Xbox and PS4.
Vitality almost took the lead inside the first 20 minutes, only for Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot to be blocked on the line. They were made to regret the miss as poor goalkeeping from Peter Schmeichel allowed a Steven Gerrard free-kick to slip into the back of the net with the commentators questioning Vitality’s decision to move the keeper.
There was more questionable goalkeeping in the second half as Schmeichel went on the move with Luís Figo in possession on the edge of the box, leaving Method with an easy finish to make it 2-0. The goal gave Method an injection of confidence, and some good build-up play delivered the ball to George Best to finesse into the top corner.
As Vitality sought a route back into the game, Method were able to pick off their opponents and play their way through for Best to grab his second of the game to make it 4-0. There was a consolation goal for Vitality as Ronaldo headed home from a corner, but the game was all about Method as they secured the biggest win of Season 4 so far.
Brian and Moolzn were hoping to make up for the heavy loss in the second leg, and they started the game looking much more solid at the back. However, it was Method who took the lead as Best scored the easiest of chances as he tapped home a rebound after Schmeichel had saved from Patrick Kluivert.
Method didn’t sit back in the second half as they looked for all six points, and a brilliant solo run from Pavel Nedvěd almost saw them go two goals in front, but his shot was pulled wide of the near post. The second goal never came for Method, but Vitality couldn’t create any clear-cut chances, and Method gave themselves a huge boost to get their first wins of the season.
AS Roma Fnatic vs ASUS ROG Army
Last season’s champions Fnatic got off to a rocky start in Week 1 as they came up against the frightening roster of Epsilon, and champs Rannerz and Zimme were hoping that they’d be able to get off the mark for Season 4 against newcomers ROG Army.
Rannerz and ZacMoore teamed up on the Xbox for Fnatic against ROG Army’s Ferperry and iHasiin, and it was the Spaniards who took the lead through an early Neymar shot from the edge of the area, leaving last season’s champions with a lot of work to do having lost both their games so far in Season 3. Some questionable goalkeeping allowed Fnatic to grab an equaliser with Sócrates sliding a shot in at the near post with 15 minutes to go until halftime.
ROG Army retook the lead before the breakthrough as Neymar scored a wonderful free-kick to make it 2-1. Fnatic looked scrappy at the back, and ROG Army won the ball high up the field to allow Neymar to complete a first-half hat-trick. It was almost 4-1 as a looping header from R9 was tipped over the bar by David De Gea.
The Elite Series newcomers weren’t to be denied though as with less than ten minutes gone in the second half, Gareth Bale latched onto a chipped through ball to give ROG Army a three-goal lead. Fnatic nearly got back into the game shortly after, but Fabinho’s shot drifted just wide, and an incredible long-range overhead kick from Mohamed Salah almost caught out Lev Yashin, only for the ball to land on the roof of the net.
The pressure finally told with half an hour to go as Fnatic made it 4-2 through Eden Hazard to give a chance of getting back into the game. However, more poor play from Fnatic saw them give the ball away on the edge of their own area, leaving Roberto Baggio with an easy finish to cap off a great win.
Fnatic went into the PS4 leg with no points on the board, so Zimme and Damie knew they needed something from the game to be in with a chance of making the playoffs, and Ferperry and Xexuatm were looking to grab another crucial three points for ROG Army. With both teams desperate for the win, it was Fnatic who took the lead after ROG Army failed to clear a corner, with the ball eventually falling to Eden Hazard to fire Zimme and Damie into the lead.
The Fnatic duo created a few more chances as we went into the second half, and their pressure paid dividends as Sócrates headed home from close-range to make it 2-0. With a first win of the season on the cards, ROG Army had a lot to do to get back into the game, but with less than 15 minutes to go, a counter-attack allowed R9 to cross for Bale to head home to set up a grandstand finish.
Zimme and Damie’s experience showed as the game went into the final minutes as they kept hold of the ball well to stifle any chance of a ROG Army comeback, and as they pushed for an equaliser, Fnatic grabbed a third through Heung-min Son to secure all three points.
Nordavind vs Man City Epsilon
Nordavind’s roster of ChnewaR, Denni and Diogo Peixoto got off to a great start against the much-fancied Hashtag United in their first fixture of Season 4 in Week 2, but they’d have arguably their toughest fixture to come in Week 3 against Man City Epsilon, who themselves were hoping to continue their 100% win record.
Connor and Mence lined up on the Xbox for Man City Epsilon as they mixed up their starting roster from Week 2 with Gabry starting his first Elite Series match alongside ChnewaR for Nordavind. Epsilon took the lead in first half with Ronaldinho getting his fifth goal of the season after some excellent footwork inside the area.
Ronaldinho was involved again in the second half as he turned provider for Dennis Bergkamp to head home and make it 2-0 just a few minutes after halftime. Nordavind knew they needed something special to get back into the game, and some amazing play from Luis Suarez in the box presented Theirry Henry with a chance to fire the Norwegian side back into contention.
Epsilon looked to sit back and protect their lead as the game went on, but as Nordavind tried to keep possession and play out from the back, Connor and Mence were able to capitalise as Ronaldinho fired in his second to make it 3-1 and secure a fifth win in a row.
The incredible deto was missing in Week 3 for Epsilon, so Mence partnered Gotzery as they looked to make it six wins from six. Diogo Peixoto and Denii lined up for Nordavind on the PS4 as they sought a second win after beating Hashtag United’s Harry and DreamR 2-0 in Week 2.
Nordavind had the best chance of the first half as Henry went clean through on goal, only for some excellent use of the goalkeeper allowing Thibaut Courtois to make the save. For the first time in Season 4, Epsilon looked to be on the back foot as Nordavind continued to press, but neither team could find a goal as they went into halftime with the score at 0-0.
Epsilon continued to ride their luck in the second half as a finesse shot from Henry cannoned back off the post, and they created few opportunities themselves at the other end. Luis Suarez volleyed over another chance late on for Nordavind as both sides seemed relatively satisfied with a point apiece, and although the 0-0 result meant Epsilon lost their 100% record, the point means they are guaranteed a place in the playoffs.
You can grab your tickets for Week 4 of FIFA in the Gfinity Elite Series Delivered by Domino’s now ?
Every game will also be streaming live on our site and on Facebook from 18:00 GMT every Friday, so tune in to catch all the Elite Series action!