The FIFA Interactive World Cup  (FIWC), the virtual football tournament loved by football fans across the globe, has surpassed one million players participating in the annual tournament. Following the first ever FIWC in 2004, the tournament has grown significantly and in 2011 secured its place in the Guinness World Records as the largest online gaming tournament in the world. This year’s FIWC has already attracted over 130,000 more players than last year’s event, tipping it over the 1 million player mark for the first time in the tournament’s history.
As part of the celebrations, FIFA has surveyed more than 10,000 registered players in the tournament throughout the world, and discovered that gamers believe the virtual skills learnt playing EA SPORTS FIFA 12  on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system may even translate onto the real pitch. According to the survey, an astonishing 58% of players believe that the hours they spend playing in the tournament will actually improve their football skills and make them better football players in real life.
The study found that when it comes to honing technique, a match on FIFA 12 can prove just as effective as an actual training session. The survey revealed that 46% believe that participating in the FIFA Interactive World Cup has improved their understanding of football tactics when it came to the real game. 23% of players credit the FIWC with improving their skill and 17% were convinced it gave them better awareness of other players on the pitch. While transferring football skills from the screen to the pitch, it is unsurprising to learn that 43% of participants claimed that they had even dreamt about playing FIFA 12.
The FIFA Interactive World Cup is a virtual football tournament organised by FIFA and its presenting partners EA SPORTS ™ and PlayStation®. It is an official FIFA tournament that gives football fans the chance to live out their passion for football and to interact with other fans around the world.
Players compete against each other either online or offline to qualify for the Grand Final, the final tournament where the FIWC World Champion is crowned and receives the prize money of USD 20,000 as well as an invitation to the FIFA Ballon d’Or to meet the biggest football stars in the world.
Contestants can still participate in this year’s FIWC through an online tournament played on the PlayStation®Network, by registering ‘in-game’ in FIFA 12 on their PS3™.