Western United will be aiming for a double with the A-League Men and E-League Grand Finals on Saturday, with both of the Club’s esports competitors making it to the final day of the EA Sports FIFA tournament.
Dylan Campbell and Negede Hunegnaw both won through their groups earlier in the month and approached the first night of the Finals format on Wednesday night with views to reaching Championship Saturday.
The format sees the top two finishers from all for groups advance to the knockout stages, with each tie being played over two legs.
Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis praised the work of the competitors and said Saturday will be a huge day for the Club as it fights on multiple fronts.
“Dylan and Negede have done an outstanding job so far and we can’t wait to watch them go again on Saturday. Both boys have represented our Club in fine fashion and demonstrate our values,” he said.
“We partnered with ORDER and with these boys with the objective to win this title and we’re very excited that we’re so close, and that we could even have an all-Western United Grand Final if both of them advance.
“The prospect of a double for our Club on Saturday is massive for us and we are going all in to hopefully win both titles. The A-League Men boys are ready to go and will give it their all and Dylan and Negede will be exactly the same.”
The No.1 seed in the competition, Campbell breezed through Group A with four wins and a draw and got to work early in the knockout phase, with a 5-2 aggregate win over Melbourne Victory’s competitor Mo Zwed.
That set up a huge tie against Naylor of Melbourne City a match up that saw the two top seeds and pre-tournament favourites go head-to-head for a spot in the final four.
After a tight first leg, Campbell took a 2-0 lead into the return fixture and blew Naylor out of the water, winning the second match 4-0 and advancing with a statement 6-0 aggregate triumph.
The road to the final four started off with more difficulty for Hunegnaw after he lost to Mark11 from Newcastle Jets in the opening round, which saw him fall into the Lower Bracket.
The structure of the tournament allows for each player to lose once with a second chance to remain in the tournament, and Hunegnaw took that chance with a gripping 5-4 win against Macarthur FC’s JustManUtd in the opening Lower Bracket round.
The win brought Hunegnaw to face Naylor, who had got through his first round after losing to Campbell in the main draw.
Everything clicked for Hunegnaw in that tie as he stood up in emphatic fashion to advance to the final day and bundle Naylor out of the competition all together.
The 9-2 aggregate victory sets up an all-Western United vs Newcastle Jets final four, with Campbell taking on Mark11 and Hunegnaw set to take on the Jets’ MikeJ.
The action will kick off from 4-5pm on Saturday May 28, with the champion to be crowned and earn a place at the EA Sports Global Series tournament.
All E-League Finals matches will be streamed live on the E-League Twitch channel, leading right up into the A-League Men Grand Final as Western United prepares to take on Melbourne City.