MLS launches Fifa 18-based eSports competition
North American soccer’s MLS has launched an eSports competition based on EA Sports’ Fifa 18 video game.
The league’s eMLS competition will act as a feeder event for Fifa’s new eWorld Cup, which got under way in December.
The winner of eMLS will represent the league at the EA Sports Fifa 18 Global Playoffs leading to the 2018 eWorld Cup.
The eWorld Cup’s global series playoffs will be held in June and be followed by the grand final in August. There will be live coverage of qualification events across several rounds.
eMLS is open to players across USA and Canada only. Nineteen of the 23 MLS clubs will recruit Fifa 18 players to take part in the competition.
The Fifa eWorld Cup is a rebranded and reformatted version of Fifa’s Interactive World Cup, which has been running since 2004.
The 2017 FIWC final was staged in London and live-streamed on Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming portal and prominent eSports video platform.
Past editions of the FIWC have also been live-streamed on YouTube, the video platform owned by internet giant Google.
Fox Sports 1, the US sports broadcaster, drew a peak audience of 46,000 viewers for its coverage of the final of the 2016 FIWC.
Meanwhile, Big Ten Network, the television network that is a join venture between Fox Sports and the US college sports conference, has renewed its hosting and broadcasting deal with Riot Games, the USA-based video game publisher.
Through the agreement, the two parties will collaborate to host two more editions of the Big Ten Network League of Legends competition in 2018 and 2019.
This year, the league will feature all of the Big Ten conference’s 14 universities.
Riot will contribute $35,000 towards a scholarship fund for each university.
Last year, the inaugural edition of the event was live-streamed on Twitch.