The NFL has announced that all of its 32 teams will take part in the inaugural Madden NFL Club Championship, according to an ESPN report.
In partnership with Electronic Arts, the event will kick-off with the much anticipated release of Madden NFL ‘18 on 25 August and will consist of a set of online leader board competitions, allowing players to compete for the chance to represent their favourite NFL franchise.
The victor of each league will then go onto play in offline competitions at the at the Pro Bowl Experience in Orlando, Florida and Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis, during January and February, with the prize on offer for the overall tournament winner being two free tickets to attend Super Bowl LII and $403,000.
Taking advantage of a refined version of the Ultimate Team game mode Ultimate Team Champions, its the incentive of competitors to unlock and win new players to improve their teams.
NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell said: “Competitive gaming and esports are one of the most exciting ways to engage a larger, younger and digitally savvy NFL audience.
“Collaborating with EA to create the Madden NFL Club Championship presents a unique opportunity to capture the excitement of NFL action and the passion of our fans with competition that anyone can participate in.”
The Club Championship is the third competitive Madden NFL Championship Series, however this year’s tournament marks the first time a that a complete sports league has committed to tournament participation.
Esports Insider Says: We’ve seen EA Sports regimented push with FIFA this year so it comes as no real surprise that this is happening across the States. We now have both the NBA and NFL taking note of esports, albeit in the form of sports simulation games. It will be interesting to see the content coming out of the series, and whether or not it inspires other NFL franchises to start investing in bigger esports. Should it go well, it could truly open the door for the likes of the Overwatch League and other bigger esports.