Jamie O'Doherty eliminated in Semi Finals, Sydney FC's Samer Elbadar crowned E-League Champion
Sydney FC's Samer Elbadar is the inaugural E-League Champion after saving a gold-standard performance for a one-sided Grand Final triumph over Josh Wood.
One half of the team that led the Sky Blues to top spot after nine rounds of the regular season, Elbadar proved his individual quality by navigating through Thursday's arduous knockout competition to remain the last man standing.
He and Wood were both considered outsiders to reach the decider, but their respective club team-mates Mark Brijeski and Marcus Gomes were both shocked in big boilovers befitting the unpredictable nature of the competition.
That left Elbadar to triumphantly claim Grand Final glory over two legs and book a place at the FIFA 18 Global Series Play-Off Event, which serves as a qualifier for the FIFA eWorld Cup.
Meanwhile, Jamie O'Doherty remained the Reds sole contender for E-League supremacy with Zac May-Burgess unavailable to attend the decider.
O'Doherty came through the Quarter Final in dramatic fashion defeating Western Sydney Wanderer's @OhNoAGoat 3-2 in extra-time.
That set up a showdown with the eventual Champion, Sydney FC's Samer96_, in an equally dramatic Semi Final that also ended 3-2 in extra-time, however this time it was FUTWIZ Jamie on the receiving end of a late winner.
- Jamie O'Doherty and Rick Tran were among the casualties in the Semi Finals, which saw four players progress to the Console Grand Finals.
Xbox: Jamie 'FUTWIZ Jamie' O'Doherty 2-3 Samer 'Samer96_' Elbadar
The Semi Finals began on a typically tense note as Samer Elbadar shaded Jamie O'Doherty 3-2 in extra-time.
Elbadar was forced to recover from an early deficit and did it well as he established a 2-1 lead by the half-hour, only for O'Doherty to grab a scrappy equaliser of his own with 15 minutes play.
There was only heartbreak ahead for the Adelaide United man ahead though, Elbadar coolly slotting in a byline cut-back to settle a tight contest five minutes prior to penalties.
There was plenty of drama prior to the Semi Finals, too, with Peter Saisanas defying a numerical disadvantage to beat the heavily-fancied Kiran 'KyrenFIFA' Gupta 3-2, while Josh Wood outclassed Christian 'Fweshest' Bartolilo to proceed 3-1.
Also on PS4, Rick 'RDOUBLETT' Tran survived a three-goal fightback from Bohdan 'BLfifa' Ling to notch a breathless 4-3 victory.
However, Tran's team-mate Joseph 'OhNoAGoat' Nassar suffered an early exit in a 3-2 defeat to Jamie O'Doherty.
The other Quarter Finals on Xbox saw Mitch Austin fall short in a 3-2 loss at the hands Samer Elbadar, while Matthew Camilleri and Marcus Gomes advanced with 5-3 and 3-1 victories over David 'HighFly357' Cook and James 'iCripsy' Williams respectively.
At the start of the day, notable highlights included Mitch Austin notching his first ever E-League victory by beating Dane 'Bossierhickory8' Crow 5-2.
An absolute thriller in the other Xbox match saw Cripsy dramatically progress past Justin 'justmanutd12' Josevski on penalties, the pair having finished all square at 3-3 after extra-time.
Meanwhile, on PS4, Bohdan 'BLfifa' Ling upset the previously in-form Mouad Zwed, coming from two down to pile on four answered goals and prevail 4-3.
He was joined in clearing the first hurdle by Christian 'Fweshest' Bartolilo, who edged Dino 'ol_Mate_' Flocco 2-1.
This article was originally published at: www.a-league.com.au/news/sydney-fcs-samer-elbadar-crowned-e-league-champion-after-string-shocks-grand-final-wrap