E-League: Round 1 preview

Some of Australia’s best FIFA players will face off when the inaugural E-League competition kicks-off tonight!

Here’s everything you need to know for Round 1.

WHEN DOES ROUND 1 KICK OFF?

The inaugural FFA E-League kicks off with round one at 8PM (AEDT) on Thursday February 15th.

HOW DO YOU WATCH IT AND GET INVOLVED?

Fans can catch all the FFA E-League action every Thursday live on FOX SPORTS Digital and the E-League Twitch channel, and are encouraged to use the hashtag #ELeague across social media.

The FFA have also partnered with Twitch to bring more FFA E-League content to the fans. Look out for weekly Twitch Takeover events with E-League stars.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

In conjunction with all 10 Hyundai A-League clubs – the FFA have will oversee nine weeks of EA SPORTS FIFA18 gameplay with clubs battling it out in league-style play on both the PS4 and XBOX consoles. Each club has selected one player directly and drafted their PS4 and XBOX representatives via the live draft. Each club will play opposing clubs once throughout the nine weeks ending April 12th

Click here for all the fixtures

Players will compete on FIFA18 FIFA Ultimate Team and must include at least three Hyundai A-League players from their respective clubs. The aggregate scores from the PS4 leg and XBOX leg for each team will be used to determine the ladder standings and the A-League club which finishes in first place will be crowned the FFA E-League Premiers. For the individual players a tournament will be conducted after the regular to determine the E-League Ultimate Champion and secure bragging rights as the best FIFA player in Australia.

WHAT ARE THE ROUND 1 MATCHES?

Week one matchups will be very interesting as the players feel each other out and settle into their own rhythm of play and of course the added wrinkle of playing in front of the cameras and bright lights.

The five Xbox fixtures will be followed by five PS4 fixtures.

Round 1 e-League Fixtures
Round 1 e-League Fixtures

Match 1: Mitch ‘ALCATRAZZ_2025’ Austin v James ‘iCripsy’ Williams

E-League fans are in a for a treat with injured Melbourne Victory star Mitch ‘ALCATRAZZ_2025’ Austin taking on Brisbane Roar’s James ‘iCripsy’ Williams in the opening fixture.  

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Austin, who is recovering from an ACL injury, will be eager to show off his electronic football skills when he takes to the field in the first all-Xbox encounter.

The Victory winger has been playing FIFA since the ’98 edition and will use himself as one of three mandatory players from Victory’s squad, with Jason Geria and Besart Berisha the others chosen.

But it’s a tough assignment first-up for the 26-year-old, with Williams a prominent figure on the FIFA 18 E-Sports scene and boasts an impressive 10,000 followers on Twitch.

Williams will have an advantage having played FIFA on Xbox since 2007, with Austin only recently switching over from Playstation 4.

Mitch Austin
Mitch Austin

Match 2: Marcus Gomez ‘SoccerStar00777’ v Samer Elbadar 'Samer96_’

In the second Xbox-fixture, Melbourne City’s Marcus Gomez takes on Sydney FC’s Samer Elbadar.

Gomez was one of the first E-League competitors chosen and believes his unpredictable style makes him a tricky opponent to face.

His go-to player in his Ultimate Team is Ronaldo, with current City stars Bruno Fornaroli, Dario Vidosic and Scott Jamieson his designated A-League players.

Elbadar has Sydney FC’s attacking weapons Adrian Mierzejewski, Bobo and Milos Ninkovic as part of his squad, with Ronaldo his trump card.

The Sky Blues representative has been playing FIFA since the ’08 edition but rates FIFA 17 as his favourite as it shot him to prominence in the E-Sports community.

Match 3: Joseph Nassar ‘OhNoAGoat’  v Dane Crow ‘Bossierhickory8’

Western Sydney Wanderers’ Joseph Nassar tackles Newcastle Jets’ Dane Crow in the third Xbox fixture on Thursday night.

Nassar is a fan of counter-attacking football in FIFA 18 and sets his team to ‘defensive’ to nullify oppositions in transition.

Unlike many others, Nassar rates Eden Hazard as the key player in his squad. Will have Wanderers players Josh Risdon, Alvaro Cejudo and Roly Bonevacia in his starting line-up.

Similarly, Crow also has a preference for playing on the counter-attack and is likely to set-up with a 4-5-1 formation on Thursday night.

Roy O’Donovan, Riley McGree and Dimi Petratos will be the current Jets players in his starting XI.

Match 4: Justin Josevski 'Justmanutd' v David Cook 'HighFly357'

Wellington Phoenix’s Justin Josevski will face Perth Glory’s David Cook in the fourth Xbox fixture of the opening round.

Josevski has been playing FIFA since 2005 and rates FIFA 13 as the most enjoyable edition as it allowed many styles of teams to achieve success.

The Phoenix representative will use Nathan Burns, Roy Krishna and Scott Galloway as his three mandatory team selections in the starting line-up.

Glory’s Cook is a massive Manchester United fan and fondly remembers the impact Dwight Yorke made in his stint in the A-League with Sydney FC.

Cook likes to mix-up his starting formation depending on the opponent but will use Diego Castro, Joseph Mills and Chris Harold as his Glory selections.

Match 5: Jamie O'Doherty ‘FUTWIZ Jamie’ v Matthew Camilleri ‘StrawHat Camels’

In the final first-round fixture on Xbox, Adelaide United’s Jamie O’Doherty faces up against Central Coast Mariners’ Matthew Camilleri.

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O’Doherty, younger brother of the Reds’ Hyundai A-League player Jordan O’Doherty, is a prominent FIFA player in Australia having won the first FIFA 18 tournament in Melbourne in 2017.

Last year he also made the top 16 on Xbox in the Rest of World category, which consists of players from the Oceania, Asia and Middle East regions.

Mariners’ Camilleri considers himself an attack-minded player and often opts for a 4-1-2-1-2 (2) formation, with his defensive midfielder sitting deep and fullbacks overlapping on attack.

Like many, he looks to Ronaldo as his main attacking threat, while Andrew Hoole and Liam Rose are likely to start as his mandatory Mariners selections.

Match 6: Moued Zwed 'MaudZwed' v Dino Flocco 'Ol_Mate_'

In the first of the ‘reverse’ fixtures, Melbourne Victory’s Moued Zwed will come up against Brisbane Roar Dino Flocco on Playstation 4.

Zwed is currently on the books of National Premier League club Kingston City and played against Victory in the 2014 FFA Cup with Tuggeranong United.

He likes to operate with a 4-3-2-1 or the 4-1-2-1-2 (2) formation, with Jason Geria and Kosta Barbarouses likely to be two of his three mandatory Victory players in his squad.

Flocco rates Matt McKay as his favourite A-League player and was one of the lucky few to witness Roar’s incredible 2011 Grand Final comeback win over the Mariners.

Roar’s representative prefers a slow build-up with fast tiki-taka passing in the final third and will use Eric Bautheac, Brett Holman and Jack Hingert as his Roar picks.

Match 7: Josh Wood 'Joshingwood' v Mark Brijeski xMarkoHD

In the second PS4 clash, Melbourne City’s Josh Wood comes head-to-head with Sydney FC’s Mark Brijeski.

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Wood has been playing FIFA since he was six years old and will look to his preferred 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 formation to help him control the contest.

Ronaldo is his main threat in the front third but he has yet to decide on which three City players will be included in his line-up.

Brijeski has more than 5,000 followers on Twitch and rates Alessandro Del Piero as his favourite ever A-League player.

Sydney’s representative has yet to decide on the A-League players to include but Bobo, Rhyan Grant, Michael Zullo, Milos Ninkovic and Adrian Mierzejewski are all in the running.

Match 8: Rick Tran 'RBOUBLETTT' v Bohdan Ling 'BLfifa'

Western Sydney Wanderers’ Rick Tran comes up against Newcastle Jets’ Bohdan Ling in the eighth match of the night.

Tran’s favourite A-League player is Shinji Ono and counts the Wanderers’ Premiership triumph in their maiden season as his fondest memory.

Tran usually plays with 4-1-2-1-2(2) or 4-2-3-1(2) formation and will use Alvaro Cejudo, Roly Bonevacia and Josh Risdon as his Wanderers selections.

Interestingly, Ling rates Alessandro Del Piero’s move down under as a huge move for the A-League, but Newcastle’s 2008 Championship win remains his favourite memory.

Roy O’Donovan, Dimi Petratos and Daniel Georgievski are likely to be the Jets players chosen in his starting line-up.

Match 9: Christian Bartolilo 'Fweshest' v Peter Saisanas 'Saisanas'

 Wellington’s PS4 representative Christian Bartolilo will tackle Glory’s Peter Saisanas in the second ‘distance derby’ on Thursday night.

Bartolilo believes FIFA 15 was the most enjoyable iteration of the game as it had great gameplay which focused a lot more on player skill and favoured a faster style of football.

The Phoenix player utilises a 4-2-3-1 formation and tends to press his opponents high up the pitch, while preferring a quick build-up in attack.

Saisanas might be lining up for Glory but says his favourite player in the A-League era is ex-Newcastle and Wellington striker Vaughan Coveny.

The Glory representative prefers to use 4-1-2-1-2 as his formation and focuses on keeping possession and scoring goals through neat link-up play.

Match 10: Zachary May-Burgess ‘vDreamz-Shooter’ v Kiran Gupta ‘KyrenFIFA’

The final match of the opening night sees Adelaide United’s Zachary May-Burgess tackle Central Coast Mariners’ Kiran Gupta.

May-Burgess is ranked 14th in the Rest of World region and was Adelaide’s first-choice at the inaugural e-League draft earlier this month.

He first started playing FIFA in 2006 but has only competed seriously in the last two years.

Gupta has played FIFA since 2004 and estimates he’s played more than 1500 games on FIFA 18 since its release in September.

His favourite A-League of all-time is former Mariners keeper Mat Ryan, adding that he’ll use Andrew Hoole, Tom Hiariej and Storm Roux as the three Mariners players in his starting XI.