VThursday kicked off the MOL eCup playoffs with 32 players off the starting blocks. Having joined FK Pardubice on loan for the duration of the contest, Team Entropiq's RIIJK started his quest for the title with the campaign featuring 17 first and second division clubs along with 15 qualifiers.
RIIJK's first bump in the road was davidsss9813, representing TJ Sokol Dobříč (a lower league team from the Plzeň Region).
The best-of-three matchup saw RIIJK sweep the round with two convincing victories: 5-1 and 3-0.
"I was down one-nil in the opener; it was quite a shock, but I stayed composed. Then I turned it around rather easily, creating a ton of chances," RIIJK said about the first game.
"The second match remained only one-nil for a long time. It was much more even, but I tried to fade errors in defense and I think I didn't allow my opponent any shots of goal. I played it cautiously, controlling the game. Then I added more goals to dismiss any drama," RIIJK recapped.
While most of the professional FIFA competitions feature the FUT mode, MOL eCup took a different route. Players elect from traditional clubs and their pre-selected rosters. Each match needs to be played for a different team.
RIIJK opted to pick the French juggernaut, PSG, followed by the Les Bleus national team. "PSG and France are my default teams; they suit my play style the best. I'm not sure what would be my third option yet. Overall, I'm trying to adjust my game to this mode. It's much slower than FUT, you have to be more cautious," RIIJK described his first experience with the unconventional rules.
The second round will see our ambassador face off against FK Teplice, one of the cup's hottest favorites.
"It's one of the best teams in the bracket and, unfortunately, we meet quite early. It will be a key battle because it's by far the toughest opponent on this side of the bracket. This matchup might reveal who's going to make a deep run," RIIJK revealed.
He views it as a fair and square clash, with both FK Pardubice and FK Teplice even in strength. "Maybe I could even be a slight favorite, but since it's not FUT, it's hard to predict who will be better. We don't have the evidence to know who's good in this mode. It's uncharted territory, but it's fair," RIIJK said.
The round of last 16 takes place on Tuesday, July 7.
With the second round of MOL eCup in the bag, RIIJK switched to a different competition Thursday night. He joined the Elite qualifier to the PS Tournaments Season 6 CZSK, vying for a top-four spot in a 16-player contest.
RIIJK defeated Miki, Domos and Empathy on the way to the finals where Seron got the best of it. However, the final match couldn't change anything as RIIJK had already advanced.