I had originally planned on including some video highlights and a more timely, extensive review but some severe PC technical issues, an explosion and some scorched trousers unfortunately means that I’ve been a little less prepared than I had originally hoped.

Nevertheless, I can say that the mySweetpatch.TV FIFA 11 ReLaunch Tournament (Xbox 360) was a great success and huge thanks and credit goes to Sweetpatch’s Dave Witts for organising the event.

Congratulations go to the Xbox 360 tournament winner Dave “Maestro” Bytheway who fought through the 53 strong field of competitors to earn not only the bragging rights but some pretty good prizes too.  The top 3 finishers along with prizes were:

  • 1st Place – Dave “Maestro” Bytheway
    • £50 Voucher for spending in our Sweetpatch Shop courtesy of Sweetpatch.TV
    • i42 Bring Your Own Computer/Console (BYOC) ticket courtesy of Multiplay UK (£105 value)
    • We Are FIFA 11 Shirt courtesy of EA SPORTS UK

 

  • 2nd Place – Matthew Cross
    • £30 Voucher for spending in our Sweetpatch Shop courtesy of Sweetpatch.TV
    • i42 Weekend Spectator Pass ticket courtesy of Multiplay UK (£25 value)
    • We Are FIFA 11 Shirt courtesy of EA SPORTS UK

 

  • 3rd Place – Shaun Harkin
    • £20 Voucher for spending in our Sweetpatch Shop courtesy of Sweetpatch.TV
    • i42 Weekend Spectator Pass ticket courtesy of Multiplay UK (£25 value)
    • We Are FIFA 11 Shirt courtesy of EA SPORTS UK

My own tournament story was rather less successful.  Registering only my 4th Head to Head loss in FIFA11 I was beaten 4 – 2 in the first round by an opponent that on paper I would have expected to beat.  I’m taking nothing away from Corey Whistler though who made his possession count with fantastic link up play up front combined with some clinical finishing.

Despite being disappointed it’s made me more determined to come back strong in the next tournament.  Knowing how important it is to reflect and learn from each loss I’ve made a list of the things that I’ve taken away from this tournament that will hopefully aid me in the next.

Don’t take anyone for granted

I was over confident going into this tournament and was quickly put in my place.  Previous records don’t count for anything in tournament play.  You both start at 0-0 and it’s what goes on in that 90 minutes that counts.

Be Prepared

I went straight into my first game within minutes of doing other chores.  Free up some time before the tournament to get a few practice games in.  That way you can iron out any mistakes and feel fully relaxed and prepared going into the tournament.  It will give you some confidence to combat those pre-match nerves.

Know Your Team

Before you start the tournament know which team you’re going to play with and make sure you know how to set it up in the 30 seconds you get before kick off.  Make sure you have at least 2 different formations and styles of play because there’ll always be a time when your opposition shuts out your first choice.

Take Your Time

This is probably the most valuable lesson I learned from being a tournament newb.  The tournament pressure puts you in a completely different mindset than normal head to head games.  It makes you feel rushed.  Especially if you concede early, an air of desperation sets in with the thought of being eliminated.  I found myself forcing passes that I’d never do in a month of Sundays in a normal game and building up play a lot quicker than usual leaving myself open to the counter.  Take your time, relax and play your normal game.  Don’t even think of elimination, don’t get frustrated and play the football in the way you know you can.  I think this tip might be harder to implement than the others and may come with experience – I let you know next time.

Enjoy it and Learn From Your Losses

Most of all, have fun, play the game in great spirits and if you’re unlucky enough to lose make sure you take something from it.  After the game take the time to think about the reasons why you lost.  Was it you?  In which case how can you do something different in the future.  Or was it your opponent attacking or defending in a certain way?  Can you learn how to do the same to your next opponent.  Remember, winning’s great but it’s losses and playing against better players that will improve your game as long as you learn from the experience.

(Apologies to PS3 users – Hopefully my technical issues will be over and I’ll can ensure that both tournaments get the same attention next time…)