English Premier League launches ePL for soccer gamers
LONDON (AP) — The English Premier League is launching an esports spinoff competition.
Gamers will represent the competition's 20 teams in playoffs, feeding into the televised ePL final in London in March 2019.
They will be playing the EA Sports FIFA game. Unlike the annual FIFA eWorld Cup, which awarded the winner $250,000 in August, the ePL will initially offer no cash prizes, just a trophy.
The ePL kicks off in January with British residents aged 16 and over eligible to enter the online qualification on either PlayStation or Xbox One.
The top 16 players per club on each platform will then take part in the playoffs in February and March, chasing a spot in the March 28-29 final.
"The Premier League's global reach and intensely passionate fan base pushes EA Sports' FIFA competition to unprecedented heights as we accelerate esports growth through traditional sports," said Todd Sitrin, general manager of EA's competitive gaming division.
"Through the ePL, this partnership carves a critical path forward in expanding competition not only for players, but for the hundreds of millions watching Premier League games who now can support their club on the virtual and the traditional pitch."