FIFA has revealed the latest addition to its constantly expanding portfolio of esports events. Enter the FIFA eNations Cup.
FIFA Esports Future Includes eNations Cup
EA Sports has been focusing on FIFA, marketing the game as an esports title. Not quite caught up to the likes of League of Legends or Dota 2, FIFA is a long way off from achieving the same recognition as the mainstream competitive titles.
The next level of eFootball 🎮⚽️
FIFA introduces the FIFA eNations Cup 🏆
Will take place on 13-14 April 2019 📅
— #FIFAeClubWorldCup (@FIFAeWorldCup) February 26, 2019
And yet, EA has managed to sign a number of high-profile partnerships, boosting the profile of the game region by region, country by country. EA has brought the English Premier League (EPL) and the Danish Super Liga on board.
Just the other day, Ekstraklasa Soccer League of Poland announced that it would be joining EA’s digital push to blur the line between mainstream and digital soccer. Amid the bustle of regional competition, EA is now introducing the eNations Cup.
eNations Cup Details: When and Where
The format was briefly announced on February 27, with EA planning to host three events in total, part of the FIFA 19 Global Series. The first event will be taking place on April 13 – 14. EA will single out 16 teams that will be invited to the soccer pow-wow. All of FIFA’s confederations will be represented in the competition.
EA Sports wants to create a new form of competitions allowing various associations to compete against each other in the Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup.
FIFA Innovation and Transformation Chief Executive Luis Vicente had the following to say as part of the official announcement:
The involvement of our member associations with a dedicated nations tournament is another significant and exciting step forward for FIFA and the development of eFootball globally.
Mr. Vicente has explained that the gradual expansion of FIFA’s competitive reach has now brought EA Sports at a point where entire nations will be pitted against one another to watch the digital avatar of their national soccer players clash.
Mr. Vicente had more things to note about the natural progression of the game:
Furthermore, the FIFA eNations Cup represents for us another great step in the growth and development of eFootball, further enhancing engagement with fans and players worldwide as well as allowing our member associations to develop and activate eFootball programs and competitions in their country.
Banking on Soccer’s Popularity
Much of the popularity EA Sports’ FIFA is the link to traditional soccer. FIFA posted 22 million unique viewers for its eWorld Cup Finals in 2018, though some skeptics pointed out that many players have tuned in idly and not out of any particular interest.
Be that as it may, and given EA Sports’ bad rep for glossing over what the community really wants, the company has been doing right by its flagship game.
Seeing “nation play nation” will probably excite more interest in tuning in to watch digital soccer. It’s hardly likely that FIFA would ever fetch as much in terms of investment as the real thing, but it’s a prospect that seems to be well worth exploring.