A special feature of Electronic Arts’ (EA) Madden NFL 19 Championship was broadcast on primetime television in the US on Tuesday as part of a deal with the National Football League (NFL) and the CW television network.
This year’s edition of the EA Sports competition, first launched in 2016, was the second to feature on a televised broadcast following EA Sports’ Madden NFL 18 Challenge - which was reportedly the most watched North American esports broadcast in 2017.
The overall championship features players from 32 NFL franchises and has US$1.3 million prize fund across four major tournaments, including the Madden NFL 19 Classic which was filmed in Las Vegas last month.
The event was the first installment of the new edition after a fatal shooting at a championship qualifier in Jacksonville, Florida, last August delayed the start of the current series, and was featured during this week’s broadcast.
At the time, EA raised a US$1 million fund to support the victims and their families.
“We wanted this season’s special to spotlight the unique strength and unity of the Madden community,” said Todd Sitrin, senior vice president and general manager of the EA Competitive Gaming Division.
The esports championship will culminate at the Madden NFL 19 Bowl, which is held alongside the NFL Draft in April. Two further two further ‘Challenge’ events take place in January and March.