Leading end-to-end financial institution, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has continued to support the Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL) as it hosts the first-ever virtual football e-tournament involving some of the best gamers across eight universities in Nigeria.
In line with the social distancing laws that prevent the physical gathering of a large number of people, the HIFL launched the maiden edition of its virtual competition tagged “HIFL 2020 e-Invitational Tournament – Play Indoors for the World”. The matches were streamed live on the HIFL’s digital platforms.
The 5-day contest involved gaming representatives from eight Nigerian higher institutions competing as top La Liga teams on the EA SPORTS FIFA 20. The participating schools include Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) as Real Madrid (RMA); Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) as Villareal (VIL); University of Lagos (UNILAG) as Valencia (VAL); and University of Ibadan (UI) as Atletico Bilbao (ATB).
Other universities in the tournament were Lead City University, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Delta State University (DELSU) as well as Redeemers University Nigeria (RUN) as Atletico Madrid (ATM), Sevilla (SEV), FC Barcelona (FCB) and Real Sociedad (RSD) respectively.
The knockout-style elimination tournament kicked off with FUTA Tigers and UI Pioneers winning the first of the Round of 8 proceedings against the ABUAD Stars and UNILAG Marines respectively. Lead City Gladiators also dominated the lock horns with UNIBEN Royals by 2 – 0 while DELSU Titans won 6 – 2 against RUN to book a spot in the Round of 4.
It took a 5 – 4 win on penalties for Lead City Gladiators to become the winner of the first-ever HIFL e-football tournament after a 1 – 1 draw with FUTA Tigers during a thrilling grand finale. UI Pioneers claimed third place with a 2 – 0 win over DELSU Titans.
Speaking on the success of the e-invitational tournament, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, Head, Marketing and Communications, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, commended the creation of the gaming tournament. She noted that Stanbic IBTC as an organisation remains committed to the development of the Nigerian youth and would continue to support youth-centric innovations, despite limitations posed by the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.
HIFL is a member of the Higher Institutions Sports League created and managed by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Ltd.