Premier League will host the FIFA 20 tournament this week, joining the popular craze of real-world athletes playing their digital sport
Premier League will host the FIFA 20 since the real season has been put on hold. The event, the ePremier League Invitational tournament, will include celebrities and pro players from all 20 current Premier League clubs facing off in FIFA 20.
Among the tournament’s competitors will be Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham Hotspur. Meanwhile, musician Tom Grennan will represent Manchester United.
Each team’s representative will face off against one opponent in the tournament’s first round. These match ups were determined by random draws. From there, the winners will move on until just two teams remain for the finals.
Every match in the ePremier League Invitational tournament will be broadcast on a variety of platforms, including Sky Sports’ YouTube and Twitch channels, as well as on the Premier League’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The tournament will start on April 21 and conclude with the finals on April 25. The finals will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League in the U.K., as well as rebroadcast on NBC Sports Network in the U.S. on Sunday, April 26. You can find the tournament’s full schedule on the Premier League website.
The Premier League isn’t the only league in the world to put esports competitions together in lieu of regular games amid the COVID-19 pandemic. NASCAR has broadcast races played in iRacing, and North America’s Major League Soccer has put on its own pro FIFA tournaments.
The ePL Invitational kicks off on April 21 with first-round action in FIFA 20. Since 20 teams don’t fit cleanly into a single-elimination tournament, eight teams will battle for the last four spots in the top 16. Most of the players in the tournament play soccer for the club they represent, though a few celebrities are joining the festivities. For instance, Josh Franceschi is representing Arsenal, while Tom Grennan is holding down the sticks for Manchester United.
That said, most of the players play soccer for a living. The tournament includes some big names like Moussa Sissoko from Tottenham, Reece James from Chelsea, Wilfred Ndidi from Leicester, and Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton. Plus, Trent Alexander-Arnold from Liverpool is back in action. Last week he took a somewhat surprising loss in EA’s Stay and Play Cup. He’ll be looking to avenge that here. However, the biggest first-round matchup is undoubtedly Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace. Seeing two of the brightest attackers in the game face off early in the tournament is sure to be a treat.
The ePL Invitational kicks off on April 21 at 7 am est. You can catch it on Twitch, and games will continue throughout the week. The prize fund will go to the NHS to help benefit COVID-19 relief.