Online crowds arrived to watch Royals defender Tom McIntyre lead the Royals to victory against Crystal Palace and their chosen FIFA representative, Andros Townsend.
The commitment was not lacking in Tom's live Twitch stream as the Academy graduate rose to the occasion, putting on a show for the masses of Royals fans who tuned in and keeping everyone in suspense by drawing the first two encounters before romping to victory in the decisive third game against the Eagles.
Vintage Reading shirt on, Sweet Caroline and The Amazons blasting out of the speakers and Tom was ready to go. His family of fans in the room next door were in full voice and the game was soon underway.
It was the Premier League side who took the lead early on, Christian Benteke netting the first of three goals he would score over the three games. But Tom soon screwed his FIFA head on and looked worthy of an equaliser. It eventually arrived in the shape of virtual John Swift.
The real John Swift, however, was not best pleased as he was subbed off almost immediately, and the star took to Twitter to vent his frustration.
The second game finished in a similar fashion to the first, ending 2-2 after McIntyre's slip in concentration saw Townsend level in the last minute of the ninety.
So it needed a third game to decide who would progress to Round Two. The sidelined Scottish Pirlo himself, Charlie Adam, was not best pleased about being sidelined, and took to social media to out the newly-appointed virtual boss. The reply from Tom live on Twitch being, "My door is always open if he wants to talk"
Not happy. Will Be into see the manager at 9am tomorrow 😂😂— Charlie Adam (@Charlie26Adam) March 23, 2020
But it was the second-half of the third game that really showed the resilience and strength in the Royals squad, going from a 1-1 scoreline at half-time to ultimately sweep aside the Eagles to win 4-1 on the night.
Second-half goals from Swifty, Ayub Masika, and Andy Rinomhota were more than enough to gift Tom and Reading with a ticket to the Second Round. "I can't wait to see the player ratings from Jonathan Low," he said as the game drew to a close.
Wow, never been so nervous for a game of Fifa in my life and it ended up being 3! Hope I brightened up a few people’s Monday evenings in this tough time for us all. Well played @andros_townsend, very tough games. Up the virtual ding 🤣— Tom McIntyre (@Tom5Mc) March 23, 2020
Victory was greeted with relief from Tom and a wave of cheers from the McIntyre household, and Neil Diamond blasting from the speakers once more. Up the Ding.
The draw for the next round took place this morning and the Royals have been pitted against European giants Celta Vigo. The advantage being at the Mad Stad - which manager, skipper, and player Tom McIntyre will hope to recreate a magnificent Madejski atmosphere when he takes on what looks like an e-sports professional representing the Spanish outfit.
The pressures surely on him, seeing as as he plays FIFA for a living! 👀 https://t.co/eK8G6v0iWS— Tom McIntyre (@Tom5Mc) March 24, 2020