UEFA launches the eChampions League

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Published on: 12/11/2018

The governing body of football in Europe, UEFA, has recently announced that it will be partnering up with EA Sports to launch the eChampions League. This will give gamers the chance to compete against each other on the FIFA 19 football simulation game in spring 2019, and look forward to picking up a share of the $280,000 prize pool.

There has already been the establishment of the ePremier League esports tournament, but the eChampions League looks to mirror its real-life counterpart with a final that takes place the day before the actual Champions League final.

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© EA Sports

The move looks to help the FIFA sports simulator franchise compete against traditional esports like Counter Strike Global Offensive and League of Legends, and it could even assist FIFA’s hopes of being included as an official Olympic sport in the future. Whilst we have seen many promising esports tournaments fail to make a real impression, this venture between UEFA and EA Sports looks like it could take competitive gaming up a level.

What is the eChampions League tournament format?

The eChampions League kicks off on the 2 and 3 March 2019, and it gives everyone the chance to take part in the global online knockout tournaments. At the moment, it looks like this is only open to those who play FIFA 19 on a PlayStation, so Xbox gamers may have to wait a while to join in this promising esports competition.

From here, the top 64 players in the online knockout tournament will proceed to the next live qualifying event that will take place in April. If you manage to get through this round, then you could become one of the last eight finalists. This will allow you to draft footballers involved in the actual UEFA Champions League group stage and aim to be the overall eChampions League winner through the live final that takes place in Madrid on 31 May – just one day before the real-life Champions League final.

If you manage to win the eChampions League, then you will get a $100,000 prize, and the rest of the $280,000 prize pool will be distributed amongst the other top-ranked competitors. The eChampions League is part of the FIFA 19 Global Series, and by winning the eChampions League, you will gain an extra 850 Global Series points that could prove to be invaluable in qualifying for the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019.

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The rise of competitive gaming football tournaments

As football is the world’s most popular sport, and esports is one of the fastest growing entertainment trends, it’s little surprise to find that football video gaming tournaments like eChampions League are getting a lot of attention.

Just last month we saw the unveiling of the ePremier League that was a partnership between EA Sports and the Premier League. This gives gamers the chance to compete in a simulation of the English football league in a bid to take part in a live televised final in March 2019. This followed on from the successful implementation of similar national leagues in countries like Germany, France, Australia and the US.

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© FIFA Esports

But it’s the FIFA eWorld Cup that continues to be esports’ biggest sporting tournament. Ever since it was first launched in 2004, this epic annual competition allows millions of gamers to compete in the online qualifying rounds on an Xbox or PlayStation, and eventually take part in the grand final and pick up a potential $250,000 in prize money. With the introduction of the FIFA Interactive World Ranking system helping to seed players according to their cumulative past performance, it seems as though the football esports world is getting highly organised.

Why sports games could hold the key to esports’ success

Ever since esports took off little over a decade ago, there has been numerous hugely successful competitive gaming tournaments that tended to focus on first-person shooters like Counter Strike Global Offensive and battle arena titles like League of Legends.

Whilst traditional sports simulators have been slow to join in the competitive gaming craze, we have seen EA Sports making a real effort to cater to the needs of their customers by establishing esports tournaments that cover everything from basketball simulators like NBA2K to the American football Madden Championship Series.

There has been widespread scepticism to esports within the traditional sporting community, but the sheer popularity of esports has meant that the sporting world is having to cater to this growing trend. Whilst classic esports like CSGO and LoL have been viewed as being too violent to feature in the Olympic Games, it’s expected that sports simulators like FIFA hold a much better chance of being accepted within the traditional sporting world. And with the launch of the eChampions League creating a huge amount of buzz, it seems as though the worlds of esports and sports are getting much closer.

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Author
Sam - "SamForr" | Esports News Writer

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