Three Singapore cyber athletes have finished third in the world's biggest Fifa Online 3 tournament, taking home US$60,000 (S$86,600) in prize money.
On Sunday, the three-man Team Impunity defeated European squad United Console at the EA Champions Cup (EACC) Winter tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, to clinch bronze in the virtual football competition.
The EACC is organised by Electronic Arts, the developer and publisher of the Fifa football simulation game series. It has two yearly editions: summer and winter. The recently concluded winter tournament had a record prize pool of US$500,000, up from US$300,000 at the summer edition, which was held in Shanghai in July.
Singapore's winning trio comprised Mr Chiang "Hibidi" Wen Jun, 26; Mr Amraan Gani "Amraan" Musa Bakar, 22; and Mr Joseph "Zarate" Yeo Jia Hui, 23. These are the monikers they go by in competitions.
They had also competed at EACC Summer earlier this year but were knocked out in the first round.
Said Mr Yeo, who has just completed his national service: "All three of us trained harder and wanted it more."
The trio battled their way through the group stage, beating FSL from China, TNP Team A from Thailand and the Vietnam Dragons to make it to the semi-finals.
Mr Amraan, who is a maritime studies undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University, said that when they lost to Korean team Adidas A in the semi-finals, he was crushed. "I was really demoralised because I didn't perform well... But we consoled each other and motivated each other to get at least a podium finish."
Their third-place match was against tournament favourite United Console.
Mr Chiang, a corporate banker who is the team captain, went on to demolish United Console 3-0, guaranteeing the squad a podium finish. The trio will split the prize money.
They plan to stay together for the EACC Summer 2017.
"We are always aiming for gold but because we placed third this time, the other countries will be watching us and will be more prepared for us and how we play," said Mr Chiang.
"We will need to put in more effort to achieve better results."