“Phygital Games is a real breakthrough and a step into the future”

On 16 May, the Phygital Games started in Kazan. Eight teams from six countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Iran, Serbia, and the Russian Federation, are taking part in the international phygital football tournament.

The Brazilian team R10, which was founded by football legend Ronaldinho, popular streamers from Argentina playing for 3 Estrellas FC, ex-football players of the National Team of Russia from Phoenix club, skillful players from Persian Gulf (Iran) and Obilic (Serbia), as well as the famous FC Rotor Volgograd and the hosts of the tournament Tatar Squad compete for the right to raise a phygital flame over the head – the cup of the winners of the Games of the Future. Before the start of the competition, the participants held several training sessions at the Tennis Academy and shared their impressions of the start of the Phygital Games.

The group stage of the Phygital Games opens on 16 May with four matches. Persian Gulf (Iran) and Atlético Peñarol (Uruguay) will play in the first match of the day.

“This is our first time in Russia and in Kazan, but, of course, we have heard about this beautiful city. The football player of our national team, Sardar Azmoun, played for a long time for the local team, FC Rubin. It is a great honor for me to be here. I hope we will show a good result at the Phygital Games. This is the first tournament like this for me, and I’m a little nervous. I want my team to show the best that they can. Tomorrow, for the first time in my life, I will be on the coaching bench of both an ordinary team that plays futsal and a phygital team. This is a new experience for me. I hope we will live up to our potential at the Games.

In general, I have been in sports for 27 years, and during that time I’ve been a journalist, a coach in beach soccer and more. It has long been known that sports are very good for our health, but now it is a great time to combine it with the digital world. Phygital Games, the very combination of physical and digital, are a real breakthrough, a step into the future which is almost here. Many people in Iran are interested in this, and I am sure that over time the phygital format will become popular all over the world. And not only in football, but in other sports as well!” said the coach of the Iranian team Karim Moghaddam.

“Your city is truly beautiful, and we are grateful for such a warm welcome. We are excited to play at the Phygital Games. The matches of this championship have an interesting format. It’s a new format, one you have to get used to. After all, two different sports in one is something unusual. But we have prepared well, so we hope for a successful performance. We really like the arena, and the organisation is just great,” the goalkeeper of the Uruguayan team, Brian Gambera, shared his impressions.

One of the leaders of the Argentine team 3 Estrellas FC, Franco Bartucci, in his youth was trained at the academy of FC Barcelona, Spain, and now he will try to lead the team to victory in Kazan. On Tuesday, Latin Americans will meet with Tatar Squad.

“We are happy to be in Kazan. Everything is awesome, and we believe in ourselves and in our success! After all, we are from Argentina, and Argentina has just won the World Cup! But this tournament will be very difficult. A lot of great teams are here, it will be very interesting. We know that the team from Brazil won the first Phygital Games, but this will not put pressure on us. Argentines know how to play football. We can win! In our team, an emphasis is placed on the physical part, futsal. In Argentina, we play in the League of Streamers. We also sometimes play virtual football, but not as often as we play the real football. We’ll see what we can do. We have never played in a tournament with such an unusual and interesting format,” said Franco.

FC Rotor Volgograd made its way to the Phygital Games through the qualifying stage, which took place in April. The most valuable player of the tournament was Danil Generalov/GoodDaniClek, and he is confident that his team is capable of showing itself in Kazan as well.

“I am not nervous, but there is a feeling of pleasure that I will play with the team at such a tournament! I’ve already met with friends from Phoenix here. I think we are one of the favorites of the Phygital Games! We are only set to win. We came here for the first place, not just to see how others play. To be honest, I know very little about foreign teams, they are a mystery to me. We will get to know them during the competition. I really like the idea of the Phygital Games. I love both football simulators and running on the pitch. It’s a cool format!” said Danil.

Schedule of the first match day:

  • Persian Gulf - Atletico Penarol - 11.30
  • Tatar Squad - Tres Estrellas - 13.00
  • R10 - Obilic Esports - 17.30
  • Phoenix - Rotor - 19.00

Discipline regulations:

The phygital football competition consists of two stages.

Stage I — teams compete in a football simulator according to the rules of interactive football in the Volta mini-football mode. In a virtual match, the time of the play is two 3-minute halves, two athletes from the team participate in each half;

Stage II — teams move to a real mini-football pitch. There are 5 players from each team, 2 players are substitutes. They will play two halves of “pure time”, 5 minutes each.

The goals scored in both stages are summed up. The winner is determined by the sum of goals scored in both stages. In case of a tie, the winner is determined by a penalty shoot-out.