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Eye of Riyadh
Sports | Thursday 20 July, 2023 8:33 am |
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Netherlands beat Australia on penalties as Manuel Bachoore celebrates FIFAe World Cup 2023 triumph at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes

The Netherlands defeated Australia in a dramatic penalty shootout to become FIFAe World Cup 2023 winners on Wednesday night, as Manuel Bachoore declared his victory over Mark Zakhary at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes as “amazing”. 

 

 

 

The world’s biggest gaming and esports festival saw the most incredible finale to the epic 24-team tournament, as Manuel and Mark11 drew the first leg in the final 2-2, and the second leg 1-1. That meant penalties and the Dutchman held his nerve, trusted his technique, and struck for a 5-4 win at Boulevard Riyadh City to earn global glory. 

 

 

 

The victory was even sweeter considering Manuel, representing the Netherlands, lost out to Brazil 3-2 last week in the FIFAe Nations Cup 2023 final at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, which is organized by the Saudi Esports Federation. 

 

 

 

Manuel said: “It felt unreal when the final penalty went in, I didn’t have any energy left. After the eNations loss it was hard picking myself up to get ready for the World Cup, which is probably the most important tournament of the year. It tastes even better when you win one after losing one – that’s the best it can get.” 

 

 

 

The 18-year-old, in his second official season as a FIFAe player, praised Gamers8: The Land of Heroes in the official post-tournament press conference at the Media Center at Boulevard Riyadh City. 

 

 

 

Manuel added: “To be the best is a big pleasure and a big honor and hopefully I can continue for many more years. It was great to experience such a nice environment in Saudi Arabia. It was really nice. Unfortunately, I’ve not had a chance to see the other tournaments at Gamers8 but what I can say from my FIFAe experience is that it was amazing. The hotels and transport – we couldn’t complain one single thing about it, and I hope to be here next year again.” 

 

 

 

Having finished fourth from six in his group stage, the Dutchman overcame Saudi Arabia, Romania, and Italy in the knockout stages – the latter a 3-2 thriller in the semi-final – and then Australia to win the FIFAe World Cup 2023. 

 

 

 

Manuel said: “Throughout the whole season I’ve probably been a bit disappointed. I won the Dutch national league, the eDivisie, which was a lift for me. But in general in the European tournaments, I didn’t really perform to my level. I still managed to qualify for the World Cup, that was the main objective before the season started, and when you get to a World Cup you take it stage by stage. I just survived the group stage – to be honest, I was almost out – but in the knockouts, I was really confident that I could beat anyone. To win it all is unbelievable.” 

 

 

 

Asked to settle the age-old debate over whether penalty shootouts are luck or skill, Manuel replied: “It’s kind of a mind game. It’s not like there’s a formula where one guy shoots everything left, and the other guy shoots left and everything else you have to go right – it’s a mixture of luck and mind reading. But I’d say more luck!” 

 

 

 

The shootout marked the end of the three FIFAe tournaments – the FIFAe Club World Cup 2023, FIFAe Nations Cup 2023, and FIFAe World Cup 2023 – held at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes. The past 14 days have witnessed intense competition and an incredible quest for glory, with the FIFAe World Cup concluding with the most dramatic ending for the most dramatic – and special – of tournaments at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes.

 

 

 

Gamers8: The Land of Heroes recap

 

Running for eight weeks from July 6, Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, hosts 15 elite esports tournaments from 12 top titles. These competitions are added to by delighting the millions of visitors to Boulevard Riyadh City with live concerts, entertainment zones, and a raft of family-friendly activities.

 

               

 

Gamers8: The Land of Heroes concludes with the Next World Forum, a gaming and esports forum held at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center on August 30-31, which brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world.

 

 

 

ENDS

 

 

 

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