Recent events may have put paid to almost all football action across the globe at present. With only a few competitions eschewing the shutdown, a number of top professional teams and players are finding the world of FIFA Esports an outlet to relieve them of their football frustration.
Perhaps the first esports FIFA tournament that gained in traction recently was Leyton Orient’s Ultimate QuaranTeam Cup. 128 teams from all over the globe competed in a knockout style competition with a mixture of FIFA players and professionals representing each team. Andros Townsend, for example, was the player responsible for Crystal Palace’s “solid” performance in the tournament.
Other teams, such as Ajax Amsterdam and West Ham United, used players from their own FIFA esports teams. The tournament progressed over several rounds of action with the final played on the weekend of April 6th, with Wolves being declared the winners of the tournament after defeating Dutch side FC Groningen 2-1 in the final.
However, this was just the first in what has proved to be a rich seam of FIFA-related esports gaming.
Another tournament that followed suit was the English FA organized FootballsStayingHome Cup. Produced in conjunction with the FA’s Football’s Staying Home campaign, 16 England players from both the male and female teams competed in the first round of action last week to earn a place in the quarterfinals.
With each player playing as the England men’s team to ensure fairness, players like Marcus Rashford, Jordan Sancho, Trent Alexander Arnold, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Callum Wilson, James Madison, and female players Jordan Nobbs, Lucy Bronze and Ellie Roebuck all competed in the first round.
The four quarterfinals are to be played this week and will see Max Aarons take on Norwich City teammate Todd Cantwell, Lucy Bronze will face off against Ryan Sessegnon, Tammy Abraham facing James Maddison and Jadon Sancho will race Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah.
Mexican Liga Announces eLiga MX
In Mexico, the Liga BBVA MX, Mexican top flight’s football division has announced its own esports version of its league tournament, with betting being taken with several esports betting sites for the opening games.
The tournament will see all 18 clubs in the division compete across a 17-match season, with the eight top teams after those 17 games moving into a playoff bracket, which will eventually see the champions of the tournament crowned.
Not Just Football Stars and Teams Turning to Esports
It is not just football stars and teams that are turning to esports during this spring. Golfer Ian Poulter and Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois both participated alongside F1 Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris in an Esports version of the F1 race in Bahrain. With more races being scheduled, even more sporting stars are set to compete in future races.
See also: FIFA 20 Betting Sites
In the US, many NASCAR drivers competed in a major event with over a million people tuning in to watch the live stream. NBA stars have been taking on each other in a number of basketball matches on the EA Sports game NBA20K.
For esports punters, betting is available on the events that seem to be more like regular esports tournaments, but for other events, it is difficult to find regulated betting markets.
However, there’s clear evidence that a growing number of sports professionals and teams are looking to esports during this time. We can expect the number of tournaments set to be played will only grow over the coming months.