Uefa, the governing body of European soccer, has partnered with video game developer EA Sports to launch the eChampions League.
The tournament, which will be played on EA Sports’ FIFA 19 – the latest edition of the popular FIFA game series, is to be based on the Uefa Champions League, the organisation’s major continental club tournament.
Taking place exclusively on PlayStation 4, the competition will become part of the FIFA 19 Global Series. The tournament will have a prize fund of US$280,000, with the champion receiving a US$100,000 reward.
In order to qualify, gamers will have to compete in a series of online knockout events, with the top 64 players going forward to a live qualifying event. The top eight remaining players will then face off in the eChampions League Final, with the final part of the tournament to take place in Madrid on 31st May, the day before the city’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium hosts the Uefa Champions League final.
Brent Koning, FIFA competitive gaming commissioner at EA Sports, said in a statement: ‘Building an authentic Uefa Champions League competition was the next logical step in the continued EA Sports FIFA 19 Global Series expansion for both players and spectators.
‘Our passionate competitors love the Uefa Champions League and the eChampions League creates a unique opportunity for the competitive FIFA superstars to represent their clubs in the pinnacle of club football.’
The announcement follows the October news of the inaugural ePremier League (ePL) esports tournament. All 20 clubs from English soccer’s top flight will be represented in the tournament for UK-based gamers. The league will be operated by esports specialist Gfnity.