European football's governing body is launching UEFA eEURO 2020, in which all 55 national associations will have the chance to try and qualify for next July's final tournament in London
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UEFA is introducing UEFA eEURO 2020, a national-team eFootball tournament featuring all 55 of UEFA's national associations and kicking off in November 2019.
The competition will be the largest national-team eFootball event to date and will see participating players compete exclusively on KONAMI's eFootball PES 2020. The video game will be dedicated to next summer’s UEFA EURO 2020 showpiece.
The aim for all competing countries will be to qualify for the final tournament in London from 9–10 July, scheduled just before the final of the real-world UEFA EURO 2020 at Wembley Stadium on 12 July.
"eFootball is played by tens of millions of people across the continent and we are delighted to give competitors from our national associations the chance to represent their country on the biggest stage," said UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein.
"We have seen a massive growth in the popularity of eFootball over the past few years and the eEURO 2020 will give us the opportunity to connect with new and existing fans of national-team football."
UEFA eEURO 2020 will have a specific team focus. Each participating national association will compete with a national eFootball team comprising between two and four players, who will represent their country in the pan-European event.
The competition format will be similar to UEFA EURO 2020. It will involve a qualification phase and a final tournament, in which the players will face off against each other in London. Between November and December 2019, each national association will nominate their team, with participants being chosen through either a domestic online or 'physical' tournament – unless a national eFootball team already exists.
An official draw will then take place to divide the competing countries into groups for the qualifying phase. During the online qualification stage, every country will play two matches against the other countries in their group, with the team with the highest overall aggregate score being determined the winner. The winner of each group and the best six runners-up will qualify for the final tournament in London.
"Our teams have pulled out all the stops to secure the biggest and best licences possible for eFootball PES 2020; quality licences that match the level we set each year when it comes to game play," said Jonas Lygaard, senior director – brand and business development at Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.
"The partnership with UEFA and the EURO 2020 tournament is a big win for our community and new users who look for fresh content throughout the year."
The winners of eEURO 2020 will receive tickets to watch the final of UEFA EURO 2020 as well as a cash prize.