With all the roumors that we had the chance to hear recently, FIFA 17 eLeague comes as no surprise. A whole heap of dust has been raised about possible forming of virtual FIFA leagues lately and it all resulted in opening of the first FIFA 17 eLeague. Without a doubt, this is some big news for all FIFA fans out there because it means there will be a much higher eSports presence of their favorit video game. Still, don't expect a huge amount of tournaments and leagues popping up, in the same way like other popular eSports franchises such as LoL, CS: GO and DotA. FIFA is sure to take slow steps on their path. But still, the forming of their first ever eSports League is more than welcome!
Integration of traditional soccer with eSports
On Monday, the 7th of November, French Ligue de Football Professional (From now onwards LFP) made a deal with EA Sports (the company standing behind FIFA franchise). The deal involved integration of LFP's traditional league system with FIFA 17, thus creating LFP FIFA 17 eLeague. In other words, these two competition will be run paralell to one another. These are great news for french professional teams as well as for french Professional players.
General manager of LFP – Didier Quillot:
“The LFP is very proud to partner with EA Sports for launch the e-LEAGUE 1. This agreement between a sports institution and a video game publisher is a great first for French and European sports.
E-sports is a growing area and is becoming a real market with both media rights, sponsorship, ticketing and merchandising. We are very happy to create an innovative project as a source of new revenue and exposure for our clubs.”
General information about LFP eSports League
Contrary to popular belief, this virtual version of LFP is not going to match the structure nor format of the traditional league. Instead, each professional Ligue 1 team will pick out 2 players (one for Xbox One and PS4) who will then go head to head agaisnt each other.
Here is the format of the competition:
- “Winter Tournament“- starts during November 2016 and ends on January 2017
- “Spring Tournament“- starts during February and ends on March 2017
- “Play-Offs“- Scheduled to start in May 2017
Betting on the LFP FIFA 17 eLeague
As you could see for yourself in the paragraph above, this competition format is ideal for betting. There will be lots of matches and the quality of matchups will greatly improve once playoffs start. Without a doubt, FIFA 17 betting markets will flourish in all departments.
Undoubtedly, eSports betting websites are welcoming this turn of events. Sites such as Bet365, Pinnacle and Bet-at-Home will surely feature all upcoming FIFA 17 eLeague matches. Unfortunately, the French cannot bet on their FIFA 17 eLeague since eSports betting is still considered a felony in the country. Their regulatory body – ARJEL, is expected to unban eSports betting, but at the moment, it is still illegal. After recent decriminalizing to daily fantasy sports, it would not be surprising if ARJEL did the same with eSports betting in not so distant future.
What's in it for EA?
It would be rather surprising if EA did this without having any sort of profit. Sure, the start will perhaps prove to be slow. But still, their FIFA franchise is getting a lot of public exposure because of the first FIFA 17 eLeague. In addition to this, other leagues have also announced similar partnerships. With this in mind, we can even expect Championship League eSports football in the near future.
Here's what EA's general managed had to say about the topic:
“For Electronic Arts, the creation of the e-LEAGUE 1 is a great opportunity to enhance our competitive gaming approach. The central idea is to live the competitive spirit to our players, from novice to the best of them.
Electronic Arts, and more particularly our FIFA franchise is also an opportunity to address a new audience… And our players a unique chance to make history representing their favorite club.”