Aston Villa FC has entered esports and become the first English Football League club to launch its own esports series, AVFC Gaming. The new league will launch as a FIFA 18 tournament on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The European Gaming League (EGL) have partnered with Aston Villa to launch the league, AVFC Gaming will see gamers compete to win Pro Points and exclusive prizes. Competitors will accumulate these points over a seven-week period, points are awarded based on matches won in each tournament.
The AVFC series will be split up into four parts, the initial qualifying round, a last-chance qualifier, a wildcard tournament and the final. The final will see the winners of the first qualifying round and the last-chance qualifier face off.
Speaking about the deal, Will Radford, Head of Digital Media and Content, Aston Villa FC, had this to say: “We know that being a Villa fan goes way beyond match day, our fans live and breathe the club in all aspects of their lives.”
“The launch of AVFC Gaming is all about embracing the fans doing what they love. We want to be able to reward the Villa faithful in their social lives and our partnership with the European Gaming League allows to do this in a way no other club has. Esports are becoming increasingly popular, with competitive leagues all around the world developing a huge amount of talent. AVFC Gaming will be another example of this, as well as being a great way for fans and the club to interact away from Villa Park.”
“The launch of our own esports series is a testament to the club’s desire of becoming an innovative leader in the business of sport. This initial series will act as a springboard to launch further digital gaming experiences to entertain and engage all our fans over the coming months.”
Sign-ups for the tournament are live now until the end of May.
Esports Insider says: FIFA is the perfect launch platform for Football clubs moving into esports. Aston Villa is taking a slightly different approach by launching a league for their fans, rather than a FIFA team but it might give them a taste for the passion and a connection to their younger fans specifically.