EA Sports launches celebrity game show ‘FIFA Face-Off’

19 March 2021


Electronic Arts (EA) has announced a two-part live game show called FIFA Face-Off that pits celebrities and influencers against professional FIFA players.

Airing live on March 19th and 26th, FIFA Face-Off will star Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Trevor Noah, and award-winning artists Becky G and Nicky Jam. The show will be hosted by EA Sports FIFA influencer, Edwin ‘Castro 1021’ Castro.

Image credit: EA Sports

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Previously, EA Sports hosted a social media contest that invited FIFA fans to send in videos. Tens of thousands applied, and four winners were selected to be on the show.

Both episodes will air on the EA Sports FIFA Twitch and YouTube channels. Celebrities will pair off with FIFA pro players/influencers and one of four winners of the video submission contest. Participants will select rosters through FIFA Ultimate Team — an in-game marketplace that allows users to level up digital football players and sell them online.

Each team will play in a two-legged competition to win a share of a $25,000 (£17,971) prize pool on behalf of the community winners.

Brent Koning, Group Director & Commissioner, FIFA Competitive Gaming said: “EA Sports FIFA once upon a time only simulated football matches, but now, it IS world football culture, driving global conversation and enhancing how fans all around the world engage with the sport. We believe the key to growing our fanbases is tapping into celebrity and unique world-class events to create competitive gaming entertainment for our fans. Who better to help build fanbases than Ted Lasso, Coach Beard, Trevor Noah, Becky G, and Nicky Jam!”

Actor Jason Sudeikis will play in-character as Ted Lasso from his Apple+ show of the same name. Co-star Brendan Hunt will also compete as his character on the show, Coach Beard.

Sudeikis said: “Having previously no experience coaching soccer, or football if you will, I think Ted Lasso is the perfect candidate for dominating in an EA Sports FIFA esports competition. That said, Ted’s passion for competing and having Coach Beard at his side in support may just be enough for him to achieve esports glory in the world’s most popular sports video game. Never underestimate Coach Ted Lasso.”

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FIFA Face-Off will also host minigames throughout the show with additional talent and viewer contests.

“Growing up in Inglewood, CA, lots of nights in the Gomez household were centered around watching football, and it’s something that brings us all together,” said Becky G. “I’ve been around EA SPORTS FIFA for years and am so excited to be able to compete against my friend Nicky Jam and give back to the FIFA community on this fun show.”

The first episode of FIFA Face-Off will pit ‘Team Nicky Jam’ (Nicky Jam, Fnatic Tekkz, and EashVeraam17) against ‘Team Becky G’ (Becky G, NIP Ollelito, and JDenman). The second episode will see ‘Team Trevor Noah’ (Trevor Noah, NFG_Lisa, and FUTHeda) face off against ‘Team Ted Lasso’ (Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, coached by Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard, DUX Grevesen, and Corey_B).

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Esports Insider says: Per a release, EA aims to ‘increase esports popularity and grow top competitors’ star-power’. Esports continues to blur the line between influencers and celebrities, and this game show is the perfect example. This won’t be the first time that actors participate in a pro-am esports competition, but players in character to promote their show is quite another story. This should all be a very interesting experience.