MADRID: Frenchman Bruce Grannec wrapped up the  2013 FIFA Interactive World Cup by  claiming a second world title in beating Mexico’s Andrei Torres Vivero 1-0 in Madrid.

Grannec, who also won in 2009, took home a $20,000 prize  and will be a guest at next January’s FIFA Gala.

The victory is made all the more impressive considering the 2.5 million players who participated in the FIWC 2013, making this the mostly fiercely contested gaming tournament ever.

Ralph Straus, FIFA head of strategy and brand management, said  he was impressed not only with the skills on show but also the level of support from the wider FIWC community, as the three-day Grand Final streamed live via and FIFA on Youtube.

He added: “It has been a thrilling competition and we congratulate all 21 grand finalists, in particular Bruce Grannec for emerging as world champion. The FIWC continues to be a platform that gives fans across the globe an opportunity to participate in a FIFA World Cup event and become a true world champion.”

The final followed an announcement earlier in the day that FIFA and EA Sports will extend their existing licensing agreement until 2022.

Oliver Hughes, EA’s international marketing director, said: “The success and popularity of this year’s FIWC is evidence of the close partnership between EA SPORTS™ and FIFA as we strive to reach new heights in the world of gaming. We look forward to continuing that relationship and finding innovative ways to give players the best possible virtual football experience.”

Nick Caplin, Head of Communications Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, says he was delighted to see the passion and excitement from the players, most of who qualified through the six online qualifying seasons.

“The online qualifying seasons, played through the PlayStation® Network, have become a crucial component of the FIWC. We’re delighted to provide this support and see the tournament participation numbers continue to increase exponentially since the online playing mode was introduced for the FIWC in 2009. To reach 2.5 million participants is an incredible achievement.”