Thirty-two players started the Knockout stage of the FUT Champions Cup January but only eight remain and will compete on the last day of the tournament in the console semifinals, finals and Grand Final .
Here are some of the biggest stories and key takeaways from the intense day 2 of the competition.
The Final 8
F2Tekkz was first to secure a spot in the semi-finals after a small wobble against NFG Dragon in the Round of 16. On the anniversary of the weekend he claimed the trophy that kickstarted his career, can he repeat his heroics once more?
Rogue NRaseck may have gone 0-2 in his first two games of the tournament, but he didn't let that get him down. The veteran German edged past Hashtag Shawrey and PSG DaXe to claim his spot in the semi-finals. His opposition in the semifinals? None other than F2Tekkz, the man who he lost to in the Xbox console final in Barcelona a year ago.
Ajax Dani rounds out three familiar names within the FIFA esports scene, as he took down the number 2 ranked player MSDossary in a close fought-bout to set up a clash with fellow veteran Salz0r in the next round. A few fantastic goals and unique tactics allowed him to squeeze an advantage over the German, and setup a an enticing match the newest wunderkind DullenMike in the next round.
DullenMike seems to have really hit form this tournament. The 16-year old German delivered on the hype after sending Gorilla packing early in the day and continuing to impress against Brazilian favourite NSE Vini. If he and Tekkz make it through, we could see a battle of the youth like no other - but can he topple the man one year his senior in F2Tekkz?
tuga810 may be at his first FIFA 19 Global Series event, but the pressure doesn't seem to be getting to him. The Portuguese talisman saw momentum build early in the day, as he took down heavy-favourite TheStrxnger and sneaked past Polish underdog Piko to secure a huge leap in the Global Series rankings.
Hasoo's run continued to impress. After the German signed for Schanzer esports, Hasoo again proved that he can compete with the competitive FIFA elite. After taking down DPeixoto7 and FCC Fiddle, he has lined up tuga810 in the semifinals which should prove to be a fiery affair. He'll want a decisive result to increase his record to 8-0 and, more importantly, to secure safe passage to the console final.
PSV StefanoPinna continued his quest to overtake Nicolas99FC at the top of the PS4 rankings by beating B04 M4RV and Xexu in some hard fought matches to make his way to the semi-final against LostInTheWavesz. Can the Belgian continue to make his mark on the FIFA esports calendar and win a second console final in Bucharest?
LostInTheWavesz secured a third German spot in the semi-finals after an incredible high-scoring match against Wolves Fifilza that saw 22 goals hit the back of the net across the two legs. He may be one of the best attackers in the tournament, but the Envy man needs to sure up his defence if he's to take down the consistent PSV StefanoPinna to kick off his Global Series campaign with a bang.
A total of 64 players started the competition. At the end of the second day of the tournament, only 2 players remain unbeaten with an impressive 7-0 record in the tournament.
On the Xbox bracket, F2Tekkz continues to be a force to be reckon with while playing in Romania. The F2 pro seems to be getting into form at the right time and finished the day with an emphatic 11-1 victory over Senna in the quarterfinals. The British player has positioned himself as the clear favourite to lift his third FUT Champions Cup trophy.
Hasoo has been involved in the pro scene for some time, however, he had never been able to have a strong performance at the global stage. All that has changed at the FUT Champions Cup January as the German player has sent a clear message that he is ready to become one of the elite players in the circuit. Will he be able to crown his impressive performance and win it all?
MSDossary, the second ranked player on the Xbox rankings, bowed out of the competition at the round of 16 while F2Tekkz secured his spot to the console semifinals. This combination of results not only solidify the F2 pro's stronghold of the top spot on the Global Series Rankings but it also extends his lead over his closest competitors.
The British pro has remained ranked number 1 in the world since the beginning of the year. The question that F2Tekkz will have to answer is if he will he be able to lead the Xbox rankings until the of the year.
On the PlayStation 4 side, the top 2 ranked players, Joksan and Nicolas99FC did not compete in Bucharest. This opens the door for their closest competitor, StefanoPinna to shorten the distance at the top of the rankings. The PSV eSports pro has booked his ticket to the console semifinals to be played on the last day of competition. If the Belgian is able to win the console final, he will earn 1,500 Global Series points and that amount will just be enough to narrowly surpass the current number one in the world, Nicolas99FC. StefanoPinna finished last competitive season as the top PlayStation 4 in the world so it is proven that he has what it takes to reach the top.
The Comeback Kid
Rogue's NRaseck started the tournament dropping his first two rounds of the Swiss group stage. With his back against the wall, the German has faced elimination in five consecutive matches and prevailed in all of them. NRaseck has defeated some of the better known competitors in the circuit including PSG's DaXe and eMLS defending champion Kid M3mito on his way to the console semifinal.
NRaseck has been a top performer in the competitive circuit for a long time but has never been able to win a major tournament. The Rogue pro will be looking to revert that trend in the last day of competition.
A new 16-year old on the block?
SK Gaming's new kid on the block DullenMIKE made a stunning run to the semi-finals in convincing fashion, beating Spencer 'Gorilla' Ealing and NSE Vini to secure his best-ever tournament finish thus far in the FIFA 19 Global Series. With rave reviews from fellow pros in his region, the young German is looking to stamp his name onto the FUT Champions Cup trophy and make waves in the FIFA esports world. On this same weekend exactly one year ago, a then sixteen year old F2Tekkz announced his arrival onto the scene with a resounding performance in Barcelona. Can DullenMike do the same in Bucharest?
The FUT Champions Cup January's final day kicks off on January 27 at 12PM CET broadcasting live from Bucharest on EA SPORTS FIFA Twitch Channel, YouTube Channel, and Facebook Page.
Check out the full schedule for the event and follow the @EAFIFAesports Twitter account for the latest competitive FIFA 19 content, news, and comprehensive event coverage.