In an era where gaming has become more mainstream, more players have become in tune with the competitive side of video games… more commonly known as eSports.
The majority, if not all video games that support multiplayer gaming have at least one way to compete, whether it be through an in-built mode or a gaming ladder on websites such as GameBattles and Gfinity.
In terms of FIFA, their in-built mode named ‘FUT Champions’ enables players the opportunity to compete in weekly tournaments to earn in-game rewards and currency. In the latest FIFA, EA took this mode to the next level by introducing FUT Champions verification.
In order to be verified, players must first achieve 27/30 wins in FUT Champions. This verification grants the player an invite to online qualifiers, where they would play for their place at a live event.
Once players reach the live events, such as the “FUT Champions Cup”, they are immediately playing for prize money. The prize pools put forward by EA Sports are sometimes as big as $400,000, which was awarded at the 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup last August.
From the FIFA eWorld Cup In 2017 to 2018, the prize money for first place increased from $200,000 to $250,000. While these numbers don’t seem overly different at first glance, it is only on the basis of one year further. These figures pose the question to what the prize money will be in five years time? Could the winner of a single FIFA event become a millionaire over one weekend?
(FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 winner, Msdossary)
While the player base increased, more players started began to watch competitive FIFA on streaming sites such as Twitch and YouTube. However, there are still some players who haven’t delved into the world of eSports broadcasts… here’s why you should begin to.
The level of casting
The broadcasting team that help on live FIFA events varies, like we see with pundits who are switched depending on what match is being covered. The fine details that are executed by the production team makes for a great spectacle for viewers to watch at home.
Throughout the broadcast, there are a variety of ways to keep viewers engaged such as match commentary, post-match analysis and even tactical breakdowns of previous matches.
(Richard Buckley (Left) and Brandon Smith (Right) commentating at the FIFA eWorld Cup in London, 2018)
The high level of entertainment that is brought from an eSports event livestream is largely reason to why the viewing numbers being put forward by FIFA recently are nothing short of outstanding.
In the ePremier League final that was not only broadcasted on Twitch and YouTube, but SkySports too brought in 9,630,696 total views with an average viewership of 37,193!
Studying the game
Through the implementations of FUT Champions and Division Rivals, the skill level of your everyday FIFA player is constantly increasing.
With the money being so lucrative in eSports, players are now putting hours of their day into developing their FIFA game, in hope to pursue it as a career. Through these broadcasts, players are now able to watch the pro players face off against one another, giving your everyday player a chance to pick up aspects of their game and implement it into their own.
(Telegraph and Argus)
As EA implement regular patch notes, the best methods to exploit the game, otherwise known as the ‘meta’ is constantly changing. Through this, some pro players have started sharing their expertise on their own platforms by creating YouTube tutorials for other players wanting to improve their game.
Whether you are watching the broadcast to learn or to simply kick back and enjoy high tier FIFA, you’re sure to have a great time!
The entertainment factors!
Just like any other sport, eSport competitions generates moments that create a whole host of emotions, something that the competitors aren’t shy of revealing!
Through immediate post-match interviews, players have the ability to openly express their views on their last match and when emotions run high, it creates for unforgettable moments.
As these FIFA players aren’t ‘media trained’ so to speak, raw emotions are commonly displayed. The variety of players are interesting, some opt to stay calm and bottle up their emotions to the final whistle… others scream and stand after every goal!
Overall, competitive FIFA accommodates for all types of viewers, hence the figures. Tune in to the next broadcast, who knows… you may be rewarded by Twitch drops while you’re over there!