Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin atoned for his 2020/21 runner-up finish with Leeds United by bringing the club their first ePremier League title alongside team-mate Tom Stokes in 2022/23.
Ollelito saved his best for last at the ePL Grand Finals at Here East Studios in London, scoring seven unanswered goals across the Xbox legs of the semi-finals and Grand Final to power Leeds past Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
But the Swede was all too aware that the duo might not have been in contention had it not been for a sterling two days performance from PlayStation team-mate Stokes, who lost only one of his seven matches en route to the title.
“It’s a team game,” Ollelito said. “Tom carried us in the quarter-finals against Liverpool, which was every bit as important as the final if you want to win.
“I think I played my best FIFA in the semis and final, where we needed to, so I’m super-proud of myself, Tom, and my coach here.”
For Stokes, who sealed a 4-2 comeback win over Liverpool’s Diogo with the last-gasp goal that overturned Ollelito’s first-leg 1-0 loss to Tekkz, victory was vindication of his decision to target and secure a spot on the Leeds team at his fourth ePL Finals.
“We just had a really good run,” Stokes said shortly after scoring the final goal of the competition to hold Spurs’ former ePL champion Tom Leese to a 1-1 draw and secure the 2022/23 crown.
“Everyone playing in the knockouts was so good, really all the best teams. We came through the games in different ways, but we could rely on each other – that’s what I came to Leeds for, that boost. I’m very glad to have won now.”
Ollelito and Stokes will take home a share of the £30,000 winners’ prize, with Leese and Spencer ‘Gorilla’ Ealing splitting the finalists’ £15,000 reward. Both teams have also earned berths in the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs and Play-ins by reaching the Grand Final.
“It’s incredible,” Stokes added. “This is the pinnacle of the UK scene – it’s the one everyone wants to win. There’s the pride, the reward of getting into the [FIFA Global Series] Playoffs, the prize money, the exposure – it’s a really good feeling.”
And then there’s also the honour of bringing Leeds their first ePL title – a particularly special moment for Ollelito, having taken them so close over the past two seasons.
“It means a lot to do it for the fans,” said the Swede. “I lost on penalties in a Grand Final and came second – I have a trophy at home, but instead of champion it says runner-up. I told myself, ‘No, I can’t have two of those!’
“I played my best FIFA when it matters, and this means a lot for me, for Leeds, and for Tom. I’m so, so, so happy.”
Spurs 1-4 Leeds
Spurs 7-2 West Ham
Crystal Palace 3-5 Leeds
Aston Villa 3-4 Spurs
West Ham 3-2 Wolves
Nott'm Forest 4-5 Crystal Palace
Liverpool 3-4 Leeds