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CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s FIFA18 Launch Party attracted 64 of the most talented gamers from across Southern California on Thursday, but only one was left holding the trophy aloft by the end of the night.


Riverside’s own John Garcia or as he’s known in the gaming world, xbleU7.


The No. 7 ranked FIFA player in the globe defeated Harold Mendoza aka iDonHarold 6-2 in the final in the main of event of Thursday’s FIFA 18 launch party at StubHub Center. The title is Garcia’s second major win in two years after he claimed the Manchester City title for FIFA 17 a year ago.

As sweet as that experience was, Garcia admitted it was “amazing” to win on home soil.


“It was a great experience,” Garcia told LA Galaxy Insider. “I thought maybe that I’d get in the top four because there are a lot of great players here. Overall, this was a really great experience for me.”


During his championship match, xbleU7 used Gyasi Zardes’ natural pace and speed to devastating effect, leading to several goals. The strategy worked with aplomb and caught the eye of Zardes, an avid FIFA player himself, who didn’t hold back his praise for the victor.


“He’s a phenomenal player, and you can see it in his gameplay. He was persistent in his attack, and he loves to draw in defenders and play in a through ball. I saw him use me multiple times and playing to my character after waiting for a defender to commit then finding Romain or Gio on through balls which led to his goals. He’s a great player.”


Perhaps the ultimate prize for Garcia could be being selected as the LA Galaxy’s new competitive eSports player. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but the lifelong Galaxy fan is hopeful that he will be chosen.  


“The first thing you read when you enter the tournament is that there is an opportunity to become the LA Galaxy eSports player,” he said. “Everyone is hyped for that because everyone wants to play games for a living. All of us here wouldn’t mind that life.”


Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at www.LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com.