The Premier League has partnered with Tencent Sports, Tencent Gaming, and EA SPORTS to take its sports simulation esports competition, the ePremier League, to China.
According to the release, this is the first ePremier League event to be staged outside of the United Kingdom. The tournament will take place on EA SPORTS FIFA Online 4 and commences on April 28th.
The ePremier League event will see ‘some of the best Chinese gamers’ from FIFA Online 4, as well as hand-picked content creators and influencers, represent all 20 Premier League clubs. It was also announced that the tournament will be streamed live by Tencent across China.
Will Brass, Commercial Director for the Premier League, commented: “The EA SPORTS FIFA Online 4 video game series is one of the key channels through which fans in Asia can engage with Premier League clubs and players.
“After three successful ePremier League season in the UK, it is exciting to now be able to take this overseas for the first time and particularly to China – a hotbed for gaming and football.”
All Premier League clubs will be divided into four groups of five teams, with the winners of each group advancing to the knockout stage. Although the group-stage matches will be played online, the knockout matches are expected to occur at a LAN event in Wisdom Bay, Shanghai. The knockouts are scheduled to take place on May 14th.
According to the Premier League, the Chinese ePremier League event will look to complement its digital offerings in the country. As well as being broadcast on Tencent, the esports tournament be available on Huya, Douyu and Yizhibo.
Esports Insider Says: After successful seasons of the ePremier League in the UK, it comes as no surprise to see the tournament expand overseas and utilise the Premier League’s reputation worldwide. Chinese FIFA Online 4 players will undoubtedly be excited to have the chance be able to represent well-known clubs in an official Premier League tournament.