While many sports competitions around the world have been stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic, virtual ones have continued to run its course.
Thus, the e-national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina made a great success and achieved qualification for the e-EURO 2020, which is played through the PS4 platform on the game eFootball PES 2020.
Feđa “Zeusinjo” Đedovic and Igor “PlantifulBat7” Zečević were more than convincing in the qualifications, finishing in first place in Group C, without a single defeat ahead of Kazakhstan, Moldova, Northern Macedonia and Switzerland.
The captain of the team is Feđa Đedović, who says about his career:
“I have been playing PES for 23 years, and I have been playing e-sports professionally for 10 years. I have won over 80 local and regional tournaments, I am a nine-time champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina and once a runner-up in the PES, and in 2016 I was a champion of Croatia in 2vs2 together with the current PES national team member of Croatia, Marko Gel.”
Igor Zečević’s career is no less impressive:
“I have been playing PES from the very beginning of the series until today. Mostly it was with friends where we fought for the title of the best PES player in the company. In 2018, I am starting to take all this more seriously, I am applying for my first national PES championship and as a debutant in such a big tournament I meet the best players in the country, win first place and thus take the title of the best PES player in Bosnia and Herzegovina . Among other successes in the period since I have been actively playing this game, I would like to emphasize winning the tournament in Montenegro, third place at the regional tournament in Croatia, and last year’s second place at the national championship of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the title of the best took my friend and teammate from the national team, Feđa Đedović.”
In addition to numerous successes, both of them especially emphasize their qualification for the e-EURO 2020.
“At the beginning of the season in September, I immediately set three goals. The first was to become a member of the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second was to qualify with a colleague, who would be with me, for the e-Euro, and I hoped it would be Igor, because any other combination of players in the national team would not ensure our appearance at the e-EURO. The third goal was to qualify for the European Club Championship. Thank God, I achieved all three goals and now, of course, there is a fourth one, and that is to make the best possible result at the e-EURO,” says Đedović.
“Qualification for the e-Euro and representation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is my greatest PES achievement. Something we all dream about when we start playing this video game more seriously, and that is playing at the world’s biggest tournaments against the world’s best players. I am very proud that I managed to become a member of the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina with my effort and commitment, and that we justified the trust of the people from the FF BH and qualified among the 16 best countries in Europe,” said Igor.
They played many important matches in the qualifications, but some were still more important than others, about which Feđa Đedovic says:
“My favourite match in the qualifications is Igor’s match against Kazakhstan, because in the return-leg match we really outplayed them both tactically and in every sense. That match decided whether we would go directly to the e-EURO or we would still go to the play-offs. Fortunately for us, we played perfectly and achieved a convincing triumph, which in the end resulted in winning the first place in Group C.”
Zečević is a little more indecisive about the most important match:
“Honestly, I can’t easily choose my favourite match. We played two very important matches against the national team of Kazakhstan. The first was when Feđa played against them, when he was losing and then scored a very important goal for a tie result, deep in the additional time, and allowed us to enter the return matches calmly, with the same points as Kazakhstan. The second match is that return-leg match against their national team, when I achieved a victory that meant the direct qualification of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the e-EURO 2020.”
Our e-national team members believe that they can represent Bosnia and Herzegovina with dignity at the final tournament of the UEFA e- EURO 2020.
“It is not very gratifying to have expectations at the e- EURO unless you are one of the 3 or 4 best national teams in the world in PES. I think we have a safe place in the top 8, but considering that we are in the most difficult group at the e- EURO with Spain, Germany and Romania, qualifying to the knockout phase would give us the wind in our backs. I believe that, if we pass the group stage, that we have a great chance to reach the semi-finals and even the finals. Spain is one of the best teams in the world in PES, so they are the absolute favourites in the group, while we can deal with Germany and Romania, despite the fact that the Germans have 3 national team players who also play for Schalke’s e-sports team and belong to a small group of well paid professionals in the world of PES,” says the captain, and Igor Zečević also thinks that the BH team can go through the group stage:
“After the qualifiers where we secured the final stage, we set ourselves the goal of the e- EURO semi-finals. However, given that we are in a “death group” with Germany, Spain and Romania, our goal is to go through the group stage first. I can only say that we will do our best to achieve the best possible result and represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in the best possible way.”
Đedović and Zečević took the preparations for the final tournament seriously:
“Our preparations do not differ much from those we had for the qualifications. The FF BH provided us with all the conditions for training, and our preparations are taking place at a top level. We do a couple of hours of online training in 4-5 days a week, in which we play against colleagues from all over Europe, but we also play each other. In most cases, one takes opponents from the group, and the other takes our national team, although we sometimes play B&H vs B&H matches,” said Đedović.
“Regarding preparations, I must first praise and thank the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has stood by us since the beginning of the qualifications, and provided us with the best possible equipment and conditions for the game so that we achieve the best possible result,” Zečević added.
Feđa and Igor have their own ways when choosing the starting line-up for PES matches:
“The best line-ups at PES and live playing are quite different for me. My biggest regret is that we don’t have Begović at PES, but it is what it is. Basically, considering that e- EURO is played in balanced mode, i.e. all players of all national teams are relatively equal in ratings, so some players who might not play in the first team have better opportunities, because they have better marks than some standard first team players. My ideal line-up at PES at the moment is – Šehić on goal, I play with 3 stoppers and a left back, and they are Bičakčić, Šunjić, Memišević and Kolašinac. The last midfielder is Pjanić, in front of him are almost in the same line the central midfielder Krunić and offensive midfielder Gojak, and at the top of the attack I play with 3 centres, Kodro, Džeko and Višća, regardless of the fact that Višća is led as a winger. Later, in most cases, Koljić enters from the bench instead of Višća, Milošević instead of Gojak and Sarić instead of Krunić, although sometimes I decide to transfer Pjanić to the place of Krunić, and introduce Bešić to the position of the last midfielder, while Sarić stays on the bench until the end ,” says Đedović and adds:
“In this balanced mode, the line-up is dictated primarily by the formation we choose, and then only for a couple of positions can we choose which player profile suits us best. For wexample, if we play with 2 attackers, Džeko is at the top of the attack for sure, and with him are either Koljić or Kodro, depending on who is more suitable. It is the same for the midfield, for some it is more Sarić, for others Krunić, and for some Pjanić in the central midfield, although “Pjanke” is the best in the back midfield at the moment.”
Zečević is guided by a similar logic:
“First of all, I have to say that in this tournament we play in a special mode that Konami made for us. All national teams and all players are tied according to the ratings so that everyone has an equal chance of winning the tournament. This means that the other strikers in the national team have the same rating as our best player, Edin Džeko. My ideal 11 in this mode are: Šehić, Kolašinac, Memišević, Šunjić, Bičakčić, Bešić, Pjanić, Krunić, Višća, Džeko and Kodro.
We usually choose the first line-up in relation to what formation and tactics we decide to play. I like fast and agile players with whom I can quickly play the opponent in a few moves and make an opportunity. Unlike me, Feđa is calmer and plays slowly, he prefers players who are strong in a duel and can save the ball.”
The final of e- EURO 2020 will be held on 23rd and 24th May. BH e-national team members, Feđa Đedović and Igor Zečević, will play friendly matches with the Netherlands tonight at 20:15 h, which you can watch on the YouTube channel Zeusinjo.