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FIFA Interactive World Cup kicks off

PS3 virtual tourney to run alongside real-life league

The FIFA Interactive World Cup, in which FIFA 10 players (on PS3) can compete in a tournament that mirrors a real-life tourney, has officially begun.

Players will compete for their place in one of ten live qualifier events held around the world. And if you have the skills it's worth a punt - there's $20,000 in it for the winner.

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We'll let EA explain it all to you:

"The FIWC is a season-long tournament mirroring the real world of football in which competitors from all around the world participate playing EA SPORTS FIFA 10 on PS3.

"This year marks the sixth FIWC season, which kicks off today inside Ea Sports FIFA 10. Players will be able to compete for their spot in the Grand Final at one of 10 FIWC Live Qualifier Events across the globe, taking place in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Africa and the UK, or by playing online.

"For the first time in the tournament's history, the online competition of the FIWC via PlayStation Network will be split into two seasons. Season one starts with the launch of FIFA 10 on 2nd October and concludes on 18th December 2009. The ten best players of season one from across the FIFA confederations will go through to the Grand Final, which will take place at Port Olympic in Barcelona on 1st May 2010*.

"Players who didn't make it during season one have another shot at their spot in the Grand Final in season two, which kicks off on 4 January 2010 and concludes on 31 March 2010. Registration for participating in the online leg of the FIWC 10 tournament will take place directly inside the retail version of FIFA 10 on PS3 from 2 October across Europe and Asia and from 20 October in North America.

"Alongside the 2009 FIWC champion, Bruce Grannec from France, the 31 finalists will compete to be crowned FIFA Interactive World Champion of the Year, rewarded with an invitation to the FIFA World Player Gala along with a USD 20,000 cash prize. The runner up will receive USD 5,000, while the player coming third will be awarded USD 1,000."

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