eSports have never been stronger and the involvement of massive sporting organizations with eSports is on the rise. In a most recent partnership of the sort, English Premier League (EPL) announced that they would be partnering with the FIFA franchise owners EA Sports to start ePremier League in 2019.
The competition, which is planned to launch next year, will feature representatives of each of the 20 Premier League teams and will be one of the major FIFA tournaments in the world, leading players straight to the eWorld Cup.
Premier League Adopts eSports
English Premier League is one of the most massive and most popular football competitions in the world. Their announcement of a major FIFA tournament is certainly a huge step towards taking FIFA mainstream. To make things even more interesting for the audience, the finals of the competition will be shown live on Sky Sports, UK’s leading sports television.
The tournament is set to be played on both Playstation and XBOX, with each of the Premier League teams picking one representative for each console through internal tournaments. The participants will receive points and the 16 top placed ones on each console will earn a place at the eWorld Cup, also hosted by EA.
To take care of the organizational part of things, EA and EPL have partnered with Gfinity, a leading eSports solutions provider, who will supply all the infrastructure, logistics and locations for the tournament. The finals of the tournament are set to take place in March 2019 at the Gfinity eSports Arena in London.
FIFA Becoming an International Phenomenon
While EPL is the latest in a series of football leagues to partner with EA in creating an event like this, they are certainly not the first. American top division, Major League Soccer and German Bundesliga already have such arrangements, with tournaments already going on in these countries.
EA’s FIFA franchise has been one of the leading sports games in the world for some years now and the growth of FIFA tournaments is making the eSport more interesting to the general public on a daily basis. The extremely competitive nature of the game is likely to involve even more major football leagues and associations as well as sponsors into the game, making it a global phenomenon.
Currently, a number of major leagues such as Bundesliga and MLS are already throwing such tournaments and the inaugural ePremier League is likely to entice even more associations to join in, making eSports versions of the likes of La Liga or Serie A a very real possibility in the future.
Single Tournament at the Moment
Despite attempting to replicate the Premier League in some ways, the ePremier League is set to be a single tournament that will take place across several days, with no year-round league format announced at this time. Teams like Manchester City and West Ham United have already started applying players for the upcoming tournament, with more likely to follow in the near future.
The tournament itself will be held in March 2019 and we can expect a big turnout of both players and fans for the tournament that will decide who the best FIFA players in all of UK are at the moment.