The National Football League in partnership with Electronic Arts is set to launch the Madden NFL ’19 Championship Series with a vast amount of opportunities for players to compete.
The announcement states the structure of the competitive season will allow anyone to “go from couch to champion ensuring MCS competition is accessible to the masses.” Said competition for the new season will include online qualifiers, grassroots tournaments, exhibition tournaments, known as the Premier Events and three EA Majors – The Madden Classic, The Madden Club Championship, and The Madden Challenge. Players will earn points throughout the season at each tournament with the best gaining entry to the Madden NFL Bowl at the end of the season. The prize-pool has also been raised to $700,000, the largest individual tournament prize-pool in the game’s history.
Michelle Micone, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products at the NFL said: “We view esports as a key accelerant to growing the NFL as it enables new ways for young fans to engage in the sport through competition. Competitive Madden unlocks great potential as the authenticity it provides enhances engagement and connection between our NFL clubs and football fans around the world.”
All 32 NFL teams will reportedly have representation in the series for the second consecutive year. As such, ESPN will also broadcast certain tournaments on its family of channels. The broadcast announcement comes as no surprise as Electronic Arts announced a deal in January with ESPN and Disney.
Todd Sitrin, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA’s Competitive Gaming Division said: “Last year a record three million players competed in the MCS and the Madden NFL 18 Challenge was the number one rated 2017 esports broadcast in North America. In continued partnership with the NFL, its 32 clubs and ESPN, we accelerate with more tournaments, an extended season, a record Madden NFL 19 Club Championship prize pool, increased live event qualification spots and top-tier digital and linear programming available on ESPN. We are maximizing the ways to play and watch Madden.”
Esports Insider says: We’re seeing more and more “traditional sports” esport competitions come to fruition thanks to partnership with the actual franchise leagues like this. FIFA is gaining traction in Europe, the NBA 2K League launched earlier this year, and the NHL is set to take similar steps soon. This expansion is not only good for the league but for support of Madden esports in general as a game that has been around since the 80’s.