Ahead of arguably the biggest event in the world of sports many have tried their hands at predicting who will lift the World Cup trophy.
Analysts from Switzerland to the United States of America have made their picks while cats, dogs and all manner of Cephalopods are vying to become the next Paul the Octopus and getting their bets in early.
Now, EA Sports have thrown their hat into the ring. The developers of the world’s best-selling football game have made it a tradition to use the ratings assigned to each player from their game to come up with the winners. However, instead of using any fancy math, they simply simulate the tournament in-game and publish the results.
The simulations show that France would lift the trophy in Russia, defeating finalists Germany 4-3 on penalties, with Antoine Griezmann picking up the Golden Ball.
Extraordinarily, the simulation did not see a single South American team make it beyond the quarterfinals.
Belgium dispatched Brazil before being knocked out by the eventual champions while Uruguay and Colombia fell to France and Germany respectively. Spain defeated Croatia in the other quarterfinal.
Even individual awards were accounted for with Spain’s David de Gea receiving the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper of the tournament while countryman Isco and Antoine Griezmann shared the Golden Boot. Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus was recognised as the best young player.
Despite the oddities in the simulation and the South American snub, EA Sports’s record of predicting the winners is actually remarkably good. They correctly predicted that Germany would win the World Cup in 2014 although a European team had never won the showpiece event on South American soil and also correctly selected Spain as champions in 2010.