The Premier League is most certainly the biggest and most popular football tournament in the world, except for international competitions like the Champions League and the FIFA World Cup. Some of the biggest Premiership teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool are household names globally, with fans from across the world, which is a major reason for the league’s popularity as well. Likewise, in terms of football gaming, the FIFA video game series by EA Sports is the predominant one, dwarfing Konami’s PES series, even though that game has been making a comeback in the last couple of years. Thus, it is a no-brainer for the Premier League to partner up with EA Sports and that is exactly what they have been doing with the ePremier League.
The start of the 2020/21 Premier League season means that the next season of the ePremier League is also here. This year will be the third season of the online competition, where UK-based FIFA players will have the opportunity to win the ePremier League title for their club. The advent of this tournament was in line with the rise in popularity of esports among sports fans as well as the general public.
Esports has become even more popular this year, with the various lockdowns being enforced due to the pandemic and people looking for alternate entertainment options while being stuck at home. That has been the case for other entertainment alternatives as well, from streaming to online gambling; all of them have seen a rise in new users over the past few months.
Online gambling, in particular, is one option that has been on the rise for the last few years, due to the various offers and bonuses that online casinos offer, as well as the ease of being able to play live dealer games from the comfort of one’s home. As casinos and gambling services go online, people can take advantage of the convenience that this creates, and that goes for esports as well, where gaming is now potentially a career option for many youngsters.
The ePremier League has proven to be quite popular so far, prompting the launch of its third edition. Registrations have been open since the 3rd of December, with the online qualifiers taking place in January 2021. Players representing any of the 20 Premier League clubs can participate in these online playoffs, with the eventual finalists facing off in the ePremier League Finals, which will be a live-streamed event, sometime in the spring of 2021. The finals will be shown live on the EA Sports FIFA Twitch channel, as well as on various Premier League channels and Sky Sports. Over the last two seasons, the finals have garnered a viewership of over 22 million fans across all broadcast mediums.
The format of the ePremier League means that even relatively inexperienced FIFA players can take on the best in the world, and some of them have gone on to do well, progressing to the latter stages of previous editions. Last season was won by Thomas Leese, or ‘Hashtag Tom’, who represented Watford FC, while the inaugural edition was won by Donovan Hunt, better known as ‘F2Tekkz’, who was the world’s no.1 Xbox One player at the time and represented Liverpool FC.
The tournament also serves as a great platform for those looking to break into professional FIFA gaming and is open to players over the age of 16. Only those on Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 are allowed to participate, with the winner receiving a trophy and a share of the £40,000 total prize pool.