The Premier League is hosting a five-day Fifa tournament featuring professional soccer players, broadcast on NBCSN. The move comes as many professional sports head to esports to keep fans entertained during coronavirus lockdown.
Esports streamed online and broadcast on television in recent weeks already includes official tournaments from Formula One, Nascar and IndyCar, and now the English Premier League has joined in.
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Using the EA Sports Fifa 20 video game, the event is called the ePremier League Invitational, and kicked off on April 20 with a draw pitching real-world soccer stars against each other from the comfort of their sofa.
The format will be one player per team. Footballers taking part include:
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
- Christian Atsu (Newcastle United)
- Philip Billing (AFC Bournemouth)
- Todd Cantwell (Norwich City)
- Ryan Fredericks (West Ham United)
- Tom Grennan (Manchester United)
- Angus Gunn (Southampton)
- Reece James (Chelsea)
- Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
- Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
- Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace)
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Each player represents their real-world club in the knockout tournament, which begins with Round One today, April 21, then two parts of the second round over the following two days. Next there's the quarter-finals on April 24, ahead of the semi-finals and final on April 25.
The opening round will feature four matches per day. All matches will be shown on the Premier League website, as well as on its YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels. It will also be covered on the YouTube and Twitch channels of Sky Sports, plus the Football Daily YouTube channel.
The event will also be broadcast on television in the US on NBCSN, and in the UK on the Sky Sports News, Sky Sports Premier League, and Sky Sports Main Event channels.
A prize fund for the tournament will be donated to the #PlayersTogether initiative, created by the Premier League as a collective way of gathering funds for the UK's National Health Service.
The tournament will see 20 players compete over five daysPremier League
The draw is as follows:
Round 1, 21 April (from 12:00 BST / 07:00 EST)
1A John McGinn (AVL) v Neal Maupay (BHA)
1B Josh Franceschi (ARS) v Nathaniel Chalobah (WAT)
1C Dwight McNeil (BUR) v Ryan Fredericks (WHU)
1D Philip Billing (BOU) v Angus Gunn (SOU)
Last 16 part one, 22 April (from 12:00 BST / 07:00 EST)
2A Raheem Sterling (MCI) v Wilfried Zaha (CRY)
2B Tom Grennan (MUN) v Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)
2C Reece James (CHE) v Andre Gomes (EVE)
2D Moussa Sissoko (TOT) v Christian Atsu (NEW)
Last 16 part two, 23 April (from 12:00 BST / 07:00 EST)
2E Diogo Jota (WOL) v Wilfred Ndidi (LEI)
2F Todd Cantwell (NOR) v Lys Mousset (SHU)
2G Winner 1A v Winner 1D
2H Winner 1B v Winner 1C
Quarter-finals, 24 April (from 12:00 BST / 07:00 EST)
QF1 Winner 2B v Winner 2D
QF2 Winner 2C v Winner 2A
QF3 Winner 2E v Winner 2F
QF4 Winner 2G v Winner 2H
Semi-finals/Final, 25 April (from 15:00 BST / 10:00 EST)
SF1 Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
SF2 Winner QF3 v Winner QF4
Final Winner SF1 v Winner SF2
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