Fifa and EA Sports expand eChallenger Series

Fifa and EA Sports have announced a new series of international fixtures between China and South Korea to extend their popular online esports tournament, the eChallenger Series.

The global governing body for football first launched the eChallenger Series in June as a four-nation tournament between China, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.

Fifa says the matches, which saw famous football stars, influencers and professional esports players from the four countries compete in 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 matches, have attracted over 23 million online views so far.

The extended eChallanger Series will see Team Wonhee and Team Taewook from South Korea play Team PENG XINLI and Team SunJi/SunXiang from China using the same format. The matches will be streamed live on FIFA.gg.

Simon Thomas, Fifa chief commercial officer, said: “The Fifa eChallenger Series has provided many fans across Asia with a dedicated online event to support teams from their respective countries, and follow and engage with stars from football, influencers and professional esports players.

“With over 23 million views so far across Fifa and EA Sports’ channels, this indicates an incredibly strong level of interest in Fifa esports and we are excited to extend the Fifa eChallenger Series and give more fans across Asia the opportunity to take part.”

Asia has been at the core of computer game industry growth in the last five years. Nikko Asset Management recently launched an exchange-traded fund in Hong Kong to tap into the burgeoning esports and gaming sectors in Asia where they envisage significant growth in the coming years.

Those views are shared by DBS chief investment officer Hou Wey Fook, who recently told SportBusiness“We believe Covid-19 will accelerate the growth of esports, especially in Asia-Pacific.”

Upcoming matches for the Fifa eChallenger Series will kick off on Saturday, 11 July 2020 at 19:00 KST/18:00 CST/12:00 CEST.