American kids, teens, and adults love playing video games. Long gone are the days of Frogger and Pong. Nowadays, video games are so complex and realistic, it can seem as if you’re not even playing a game at all — especially when it comes to sports games.
As of 2017, the value of the video game market across the United States was worth approximately $18.4 billion. Globally, as eSports grows in popularity and more countries (like the U.S.) welcome soccer into their lives, the sports video game market will likely enjoy unprecedented success.
The Premier League is the top division of professional football (soccer) in England, but it has developed a global fanbase. In countries all across the world, fans are watching and rooting for Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, and all kinds of entertaining clubs. Now, the Premier League is entering into the digital realm, as well, growing its worldwide popularity even more.
According to Forbes, the Premier League and EA Sports are partnering up to launch the official FIFA 19 eSports League.
The ePremier League (ePL) is an arrangement between the league and its official gaming partner — EA Sports. The league will go live in January with a series of online qualifying matches to determine who will advance to the next stage, meaning that any player with a copy of the EA Sports FIFA 19 video game and an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 can enter the competition. However, ePL participants must be registered and at least 16 years old.
“EA Sports is a fantastic partner for the Premier League and we are looking forward to launching ePremier League with them,” said Richard Masters, Managing Director for the Premier League. “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 finals will be broadcast live on Sky Sports and on the Premier League’s official social media accounts in order to reach a global audience.