The first ever eChampions League final – a joint venture between UEFA and EA SPORTS – will be played in Madrid on 31 May, with the winner to receive the trophy just before the UEFA Champions League final the following day.
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Eight of the best EA SPORTS FIFA 19 players from across the planet will compete in the eChampions League final in Madrid on 31 May. The competition, which is being held in conjunction with EA SPORTS, will see the participants playing exclusively on PlayStation, with the winner having the chance to raise the eChampions League trophy aloft at the Estadio Metropolitano ahead of the UEFA Champions League final on 1 June.
The competitors and their coaches will participate in an eChampions League draft and will go head to head to pick their teams, containing footballers who were involved in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
The eight finalists will then play quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final in a bid to win the inaugural eChampions League. Aside from receiving their prize minutes before the start of the UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the Estadio Metropolitano, the winner will also walk away with a $100,000 share of the $280,000 prize pot, as well as a VIP ticket to the final.
For UEFA, the decision to team up with EA SPORTS to create an eChampions League was an easy one, with the popularity of eSports continuing to grow around the world.
"EA SPORTS FIFA captivates tens of millions around the world, and our deep integration within the many in-game experiences gives us exciting opportunities to connect the UEFA Champions League to players," said Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director.
"We see the eChampions League competition as an important step in connecting with existing and new fans of the UEFA Champions League."
Ruud Gullit knows what it means to lift the European Cup, having done so twice with AC Milan. The Dutchman, who is an eSports enthusiast and will attend the finals in Madrid, is delighted that players will now have the chance to test their talents on the biggest stage and go through the same emotions as their football-playing counterparts.
"The UEFA Champions League is a special competition in the footballing calendar for players and fans alike," said Gullit. "I'm really excited to be attending the finals of this first edition of the eChampions League and to be able to witness at first hand some of the world’s best gamers going head-to-head in a Champions League environment."
Following an exciting group stage in Manchester, where 64 players competed for the chance to advance to the final, the successful eight eChampions League final participants representing countries around the world are:
- DrNightWatch (Bulgaria)
- AlanAvi (USA)
- coL Joksan (USA)
- TG Zezinho (Brazil)
- Rafsou (France)
- NYC_Chris (USA)
- Marcuzo (Denmark)
- xLevVinken (Netherlands)
"Bringing the excitement of the UEFA Champions League to the EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series created riveting competition for our spectators," said Brent Koning, EA SPORTS FIFA competitive gaming commissioner.
"The eChampions League final will see players represent countries from all over the world as they go head-to-head in the digital pinnacle of club football – this is a true testament of how eSports and sports can be a powerful and connective fan experience."
All the action from the eChampions League final on 31 May can be watched on the EA SPORTS Twitch and the EA SPORTS YouTube Channel.