A WARRINGTON college team has become national champions – in a FIFA Xbox tournament.
Sport Priestley’s footballers are used to success after winning their division in the North West Colleges Western Conference earlier this year.
Now they have pocketed the FIFA 20 College Lockdown Championships, which was organised by the British Esports Association and AoC Sport, finishing ahead of 35 other teams.
“I put our success down to belief in each other,” said former Bridgewater High pupil Ben Mason.
“We always believed we would win and through the game we’d send each other texts to encourage whoever was playing.”
Teams from across the country played in the Swiss format where the winner is the competitor with the highest aggregate points across all rounds.
In the final, Priestley came up against a local rival in Winstanley College but the team of Ben, Chris Green and Alex Flint won 5-4.
Former Cardinal Newman pupil Alex said: “It’s something I enjoy doing and wanted to test my FIFA skills on a national scale by representing the college.
“A lot of the fundamentals remain the same when you play virtual football, but I am able to incorporate a lot more flare because you can be more precise and there are no external factors to consider like the weather and type of pitch.”
With lockdown affecting students’ ability to take part in college sport, the FIFA 20 Championships enabled them to continue to represent their college online in a national competition.
Dean Hardman, AoC Director of Sport and Student Experience, congratulated Priestley’s players and said: “The values of teamwork and pride have been very much on display. We hope that players have enjoyed participating as much as we have enjoyed providing this competition.”
Dan Jordan, head of football at Priestley, complimented both the college’s winning Xbox squad and the Playstation team who finished seventh in their event.
“It is another amazing achievement for our students and definitely brought them together as teams during a very difficult time,” he said.