Game developer EA and the National Football League announced the Madden 19 Championship Series this week. The esports league will feature the game title’s largest-ever tournament prize pool — $700,000. Madden 19 is newly out today, Aug. 10.
New series coming with added features
According to the release, the new Championship Series will include a 60 percent increase in tournaments. Plus, the series will add more as the season unfolds. The new prize pool, a whopping $700,000, is the largest on record for an individual Madden tournament.
In terms of gameplay, to increase the game’s authenticity, Madden 19 now includes the Real Player Motion system, which brings the on-screen player experience closer to NFL athletes in terms of tackling, blocking, running, and cutting.
“Last year, a record three million players competed in the MCS and the Madden NFL 18 Challenge was the number one rated 2017 esports broadcast in North America,” said EA Competitive Gaming Division SVP and GM Todd Sitrin. “In continued partnership with the NFL, its 32 clubs and ESPN, we accelerate with more tournaments, an extended season, a record Madden NFL 19 Club Championship prize pool, increased live event qualification spots and top-tier digital and linear programming available on ESPN.”
ESPN will cover the Madden 19 Championship Series across its family of networks with further scheduling to be released in the future.
An extended competitive season
The new season comes with more live event qualification spots, including 500-plus entry into the Madden 19 Classic format. EA has also prolonged the season, with competition starting now and happening all through late spring next year. Online matchmaking events, grassroots tournaments known as Challenger Events, and large-scale exhibitions, Premier Events, should further expand the game’s presence. Additionally, four EA Majors — occurring in October, between January and February, in March, and during the NFL Draft week — spotlight the annual calendar.
“We view esports as a key accelerant to growing the NFL as it enables new ways for young fans to engage in the sport through Madden NFL competition,” said NFL Consumer Products Senior Vice President Michelle Micone. “Competitive Madden unlocks great potential as the authenticity it provides enhances engagement and connection between our 32 NFL clubs and football fans around the world.”
In January, EA and ESPN entered into a broadcasting deal for Madden 18. The collaboration aimed to reach a broader audience. This week’s announcement further solidifies the game’s presence in the overall esports industry.
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