It is no longer news that the 2016 edition of the annual NaijaGameEvolution tournament has come and gone. What might be news however, were the upsets that accompanied the event most notably in the FIFA 17 event.
As early as 9am, gamers had started to drop in one by one. No one took notice of three relatively young kids, who obviously had come to play too. They kept coming to ask when the event would kick off (the event started an hour late because of later turn out of gamers). A lot people probably assumed they were some of those kids that their parents just paid for to have fun. When the event finally kicked off, one of the boys, Adefola, was placed in a group which had veterans like COPA Lagos FIFA 17 runner-up, xXRobosysXx, and others like Isijyne. The group stage started and Adefola emerged top of his group with Isijyne placing 2nd. He had won four of his matches and drawn one, while Isijyne won three and drew two. xXRobosysXx, who was the favorite to top the group, won only two of his matches.
The NGE number one seed and hitherto the most dominant player in FIFA 17, Jogernut, arrived later and was placed in a group of death with other “killers” like Hitokiri, Isimism, Chi and Banku. Unsurprisingly, Joger topped his group with Chi coming in second.
The quarter-finals (top 8) started and Adefola was matched up against Chi. Up until then, most people were convinced that he had just been lucky to have survived the pools and would likely not go past the first round of the knockout stage. When Chi was announced as his opponent, almost everyone was already congratulating Chi on his advancement into the semis. Infact, people were already predicting who Chi would face in the semi-finals. It’s no wonder that almost everyone had assumed this. Chi was also a very solid player and in most cases, one of the few people that even Joger himself feared. There have often been arguments that Chi was the only one who had high chances of beating Joger if they met in the finals.
It therefore came as a huge shock to everyone (except maybe Adefola himself), when he defeated Chi 2-1 to move on to the semi-finals. It was at this point it started to dawn on people that this lad might not be a push-over like they thought.
In the semi –finals, he faced off against Ifeanyi, another veteran and the WAGE 2016 tied champion. He quickly dusted the champ off with a whooping 3-0 to head to the finals to face Joger. At this point, people were interested to see how he would hold up against the most dominant player in the Nigerian FIFA 17 circle. A lot of people already commended the lad’s performance, though they were sure that the end of the road had definitely come. A few however foresaw an upset coming, especially noting how calm and calculated the boy’s play had been. It was therefore a surprising turn of events when Adefola opened the scoreboard with his first goal. Everyone was still recovering from the surprise of that when he made it a double – 2-0. Joger couldn’t understand what was going on as he started asking questions that only the game’s developers could answer “Why is my keeper running out?” “Why are my defenders just looking?”. He was still asking these questions when Adefola tripled the score. At this point, most of the spectators found it like a mild comedy. Here was a young unknown player using their dreaded champ as training dummy and even laughing like it was nothing. Undaunted, Joger continued to press on. He had been in this situation many times and most of his decisive wins were comebacks. The persistence paid off and responded with his first goal. Within the next ten “in-game” minutes, he scored again. It look like Joger was going for his usual comeback-to-win fashion. Chants of “Let’s go, Deji, just one more”, could be heard. Adefola, still smiling, added an extra goal as if to kill any ideas of a comeback that Joger might have. The game ended 4-2. Everybody was left open-mouthed. Never has there been such a straight dominance by a player in FIFA – not losing a single game – since Isgidi’s performance in the first NGE roadshow in May 2012.
Now everyone know there is another “silent killer” they have to gun for. The striking thing about Adefola’s play is his composure and that smile that almost never leaves his face. If he is worried about an opponent’s pattern or style of play, it doesn’t show. And to think he is just 16.
That is very promising.
Until NaijaGameEvolution 2017, all hail the king, Adefola09.