The Premier League and EA have paired up to announce the first instalment of the ePremier League (ePL), offering FIFA players in the UK the chance to represent their favourite club for the first time, similar to the way the NBA 2K League works in the US.
All 20 clubs will be represented, with the final being played in London on March 28 and 29, being broadcast live on Sky Sports as well as Premier League social media. This is also the newest league partnership to be added to the existing FIFA 19 Global Series.
"EA Sports is a fantastic partner for the Premier League and we are looking forward to launching ePremier League with them," said Richard Masters, Premier League Managing Director. "We know that millions of fans play FIFA and this new esports competition will provide our clubs with an exciting opportunity to engage with them. We can't wait to get started with the opening online rounds in January 2019."
The ePL starts in January and will see players compete for three months through online qualification, live club playoffs, and then the live finals. All clubs will have a live playoff round allowing two competitors - one for PS4 and one for Xbox One - one last shot to go for the final. Those who perform will also get Global Series points to qualify for that competition as well, although those who want to participate in the ePL and also want to earn these points need to register here by October 31 to be verified.
What's more is that esports tournament provider Gfinity has revealed that they're the official tournament operator of the ePL, meaning they'll handle the online qualification as well as the 20 competitions in the playoff round, not to mention the final which is coming to the Gfinity Arena.
Registration for the competition opens on December 3, with further details on registering coming in the next few months. If you're interested in this competition, you can also watch the video below to hear Joleon Lescott talking about the ePL.
Could this be a way to get traditional football fans on board with esports?