Gordon Thornsberry hoisted his new trophy in his right hand and pointed toward fans with his left.
Minutes earlier, Thornsberry, who uses the gamertag FCC_Fiddle, claimed the title at eMLS’ League Series One presented by Playstation last Friday night in Philadelphia.
“To win last week, not only for myself but for the city, means a lot because I’m a Cincinnati guy,” Fiddle said looking back. “I’ve grown up in Cincinnati sports, so I know it’s been a tough time for the city when it comes to getting trophies. It was nice to get maybe the first trophy of the new decade and the new season for the club.”
The trophy was Fiddle’s first title in eMLS and the first in FC Cincinnati’s gaming history. The path leading to the trophy was just as memorable.
After tying Paulo Neto (Atlanta United FC), 1-1, in the quarterfinals, Fiddle bested his opponent 2-1 in a penalty shootout. In the semis, a 4-4 draw with Exraa (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) finished with Fiddle winning 4-3 on penalties.
As for the final, Fiddle took a commanding lead and won, 3-1, against Adamou (New York Red Bulls) before hoisting his trophy.
“My first few games were close,” he said. “There was never a time where it was like, ‘OK, I won this.’ But there was a time in the championship where I was up, 3-1, in the 84th minute, and if you look back at the screen, you can see my smile because I knew, ‘OK, I think I just won this.’ It was surreal and to lift the trophy was really special.”
With the win, Fiddle is now ranked first in the latest eMLS Power Rankings presented by PS4. The League Series Two event is Feb. 15 in Portland. During the group stage before Series One, Fiddle finished 9-2-1.
“It’s another chance to defend the trophy and defend the crown,” he said. “I’m really excited for it.”