German newspaper Bild is connecting Germany’s poor showing in the 2018 Fifa World Cup on late night gaming. This follows reports that German coach Joachim Löw, and his assistant Oliver Bierhoff took players access to WiFi as it affected their preparation. According to the newspaper, certain Bavarian members of the team were gaming as late as 4am during the tournament. The two titles specifically named were FIFA18 and Fortnite. The 2018 Fifa World Cup was an all-round amazing event, with the dark horse Croatian team taking home the cup. However, Germany had one of the worst performances of the entire competition. Forward Thomas Muller has admitted that the preparation could have been better, denying the existence of cliques, like the supposed Bavarian gaming group, within the team.
After winning the 2014 Fifa World Cup, there were huge expectations for the defending German champions. Not only did Germany fail to even make the final this year, which was between France and Croatia, but they were also unable to even advance past the group stage. Losing their first game to Mexico 1-0, Germany was able to narrowly beat Sweden 2-1 only to lose again to South Korea 2-0. While there were worse performances in the tournament, this may well be Germany’s worst performance in a World Cup ever, unable, for the first time, to even make it through to the second round. The four-time World Cup winners went home with only a single victory, marking an exceptionally poor showing this year.
While there are many factors that would have contributed to these results, late night Fortnite and Fifa binges is definitely a notable one. With reports saying that players were so tired that coaching staff had to take action, late night gaming was a significant distraction for the underprepared team.