Football Federation Australia (FFA) will introduce a new e-League early next year in a strategic move that will connect fans of the global phenomenon EA SPORTS™ FIFA game with the Hyundai A-League. The FFA’s e-League will be the premier competition for the region’s elite FIFA competitors to represent the Hyundai A-League’s elite top tier clubs to determine a new e-League champion for both Xbox and PlayStation.
In partnership with the Hyundai A-League clubs, the e-League will begin on 1 February 2018 and run for the last nine rounds of the Hyundai A-League. This provides for each club to play each other once and will end in April with a tournament-style final event.
FFA Chief Executive Officer David Gallop said the e-League initiative was another example of FFA getting on with the business of connecting new audiences with the Hyundai A-League. “EA SPORTS FIFA is the most popular sports videogame in the world, with a huge following in this country including a broad base of participants who play many sports,” Gallop said.
“This is an advantage that football has over other major sports in Australia and we will make the most of it.”
FFA’s Head of Commercial, Marketing and Digital, Luke Bould, said FFA was finalising major sponsorships and broadcast arrangements for the e-League. “We have been delighted by the level of interest in the competition and look forward to some exciting announcements over the coming weeks,” he said.
“FFA’s strategy is to build a competition that provides FIFA competitors with the ability to represent their favourite Hyundai A-League clubs and create more fans for the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League. This is also a great way to connect the League more globally and in particular, with an Asian audience who love football and FIFA, but may not yet know the Hyundai A-League.”
FFA’s Head of Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, Greg O’Rourke, said each club would have two e-League competitors, with clubs choosing one competitor directly and the other via a draft. The draft process invites interested competitors to register their interest as a first step. Top competitors will be selected for the draft based on a combination of factors, including their FIFA Ultimate Team rankings. The aim is to get the best competitors in the country representing Hyundai A-League clubs. For more information or to register your interest please visit www.a-league.com.au/e-league
“eSports is on an incredible growth trajectory around the world, with revenues growing at around 35% per year. Major sports in Europe and the USA have announced partnerships in recent years,” O’Rourke said.
“FFA has been researching eSports for over a year. We have consulted with multiple leagues and clubs around the world, visited hubs in London, and engaged with the French Ligue 1 and other clubs in the Eredivisie and English Premier League. In France, the Ligue 1 has been running a competition for two years with great success and we expect many more leagues around the world will follow suit in the very near future.”