FIFA and games developer EA have officially revealed plans to host the FIFA eWorld Cup from 2018 onwards.
The announcement made last week is to create a competition to replicate the excitement and participation that surrounds the four-year World Cup tournament that takes place but in an esports format.
To mark the occasion of Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup, FIFA and EA are scheduling a series of online qualifying tournaments.
128 qualifiers from Xbox and PS4 will then progress to FIFA 18 Global Series Play-Offs, this is where the battle begins to compete in the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final.
Qualifiers are scheduled from this month through to July 2018 with the aim being the crowning of an eWorld Cup champion alongside the ‘real’ World Cup champion in the summer of 2018.
Todd Sitrin, EA’s General Manager of Competitive Gaming Division said:
“In partnership with FIFA, we’re accelerating the growth of competitive gaming through the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series on The Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018, producing more competition, attracting more competitors and connecting with more fans than ever before.”
This major announcement in esports demonstrates FIFA’s place alongside League of Legends, Dota 2 and other major esports dominating games.
In 2017 League of Legends World Championship had a prize pool around $5 million, with the International 2017 reaching a $24 million total.
Professional football clubs are already working to associate themselves with esports players for representation at national and international levels.
Man City already have Kez Brown as their esports rep, and Wolfsburg have Benedikt Saltzer and David Bytheway as their team players.
There’s certainly an optimistic future for football based esports and with the combined efforts of FIFA and EA it opens up new opportunities for players to be seen on the big stage.
We’re looking forward to the continued evolution of esports and the eWorld Cup 2018.