RIO DE JANEIRO — Budweiser has taken over the five-star Pestana Rio Atlantica Hotel on the Copacabana beach and transformed it into the Budweiser Hotel by Pestana. Throughout the World Cup, the Budweiser Hotel has partnered with numerous brands to host exclusive parties and events. Select partner events have included UFC, Playboy, EA Sports, and FIFA Interactive World Cup. Numerous World Cup legends and celebrities have made special appearances at the hotel thus far.
I had an opportunity to visit the Budweiser Hotel for an event put on by EA Sports and FIFA Interactive World Cup. I got there early, but there was already a sizable crowd and everyone was glued to the finale of the USA vs. Belgium match, which was being shown on a giant screen on the rooftop of the hotel. Naturally, there was plenty of Budweiser on hand with servers moving around the crowd ready to replenish anyone’s finished bottle with a new one. After the match ended and everyone had a chance to catch their breath, it was time for the party to start.
The main event for the evening was the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2014 Grand Final Tournament draw, hosted by Kay Murray and former Trinidad & Tobago striker Dwight Yorke. They were joined by special guest and 1994 World Cup winner Dunga to conduct the official draw and group the 20 finalists into four groups of five. There was a humorous moment when Dunga had trouble opening the balls at first and Yorke quipped that they should’ve rehearsed that part beforehand. As each competitor was drawn out, Murray provided a little bit of background information.
This year’s tournament had almost 2 million entrants from around the world and took place with players playing FIFA 14 on the Playstation 3. The field was whittled down to the top 20 players, who were invited to Rio de Janeiro to compete in the FIWC finals. The group stage and quarterfinals took place next day. The FIFA Interactive World Cup final took place the day after that on the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain, with August Rosenmeier of Denmark being crowned as the new FIWC Champion for 2014. For more information on the FIFA Interactive World Cup, go to http://www.fifa.com/interactiveworldcup/index.html.
After the draw was conducted, two of the finalists staged an exhibition match on the Playstation console of Brazil vs. France. Everyone then had a chance to chill, mingle, hit the dance floor, or play a game of FIFA World Cup 2014 on one of the multiple Playstation consoles set up along the back. There was an open bar in the middle of the rooftop, providing plenty of Budweiser to keep everyone lubricated. Servers also came around with plenty of hors d’oeuvres to keep guests from going hungry.