The PES Champions Festival is the single biggest PES event that has ever taken place – with nearly 200,000 games played, and over half a million goals scored en route to the finals in London.
The premise is simple – prove yourself as the best in your country, then prove yourself as the best in Europe by beating the finalists from the other qualifying regions, much like the Champions League in world football.
And, 2013’s champion is Portuguese entrant Pedro Barbosa, also known as ArtKiller94 by friends and competitors alike in the PES community. His prize for taking the title was two VIP seats at the Champions League final – but the VIP treatment didn’t just start there.
All finalists and their guests were treated as Champions – being flown around the world, put up in a swanky Hilton hotel and chauffeured around London with all expenses covered by Konami. Prizes given out to each qualifying finalist included a PS Vita, an Official UCL match ball, a stylish Jacques Lemans UCL watch amongst others, and this was all before kicking a ball.
The lion’s share of the event was played out at Farringdon’s Sports Bar and Grill – before relocating for a climactic finish on the stage and big screen at Olympic Park’s Champions League festival. The winner was whisked off to the Executive box at Wembley, but even the losing seats were something to be proud of – an evening in an all-inclusive high-class bar compered English defensive idol Martin Keown and Sky Sports’ Olivia Godfrey was how everyone else watched the Final. Losing with style.
Make no mistake – there was a definite glitz throughout the entirety of the finals, and whilst the players were clearly thankful for what they were being treated to – and determined to perform as best as they could, there was an air of camaraderie that made the event so enjoyable.
The passion of those playing was matched by the emotion of their guests – and also the PES staff and community leaders that were in attendance. It came as little surprise that Pedro took the title in the end – his powerful, exciting celebrations became synonymous with his success as the event progressed. He takes the trophy back to Portugal – which coincidentally is the host nation of the next Champions League final.
Pedro can’t do it again, on home soil can he? Do you think you have what it takes to stop him? – Enter into next year’s PES UCL Festival to find out.