The Premier League and EA have today announced the return of the ePremier League FIFA esports tournament for the 2021/22 season, with an increased prize pool.
Now into its fourth year, the competition gives Premier League fans a shot at glory by winning silverware for their favourite Premier League football club.
The prize pool for the tournament has increased to £100,000, up from last event’s £40,000, with three seats on offer for top-ranking players at the EA Sports FIFA 22 Global Series Playoffs.
The competition is open to UK residents aged 16 and over. After registering, players compete in a series of online qualification tournaments from November 16th to January 19th, with the best advancing to the Club Playoffs in February/March 2022 (precise dates to be confirmed by each club).
From there, each of the 20 Premier League clubs will narrow down the competitors and take forward two players, one per console, to represent them at the grand finals between March 26th and 27th 2022.
This year’s competition sees the return of a live ePremier League Grand Final in a venue to be revealed soon, where the two best players from all 20 Premier League clubs will battle it out on 26 and 27 March 2022. The in-person Grand Final will be subject to COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time.
There will also be a change to the Grand Finals format this season. Players will work collaboratively as a team for the first time by taking part in a series of 1 vs 1 matches against pairings from other clubs, with one player competing per console.
Premier League CCO Will Brass said: “We are delighted to be launching the fourth season of the ePremier League, which will once again offer UK-based fans of EA Sports FIFA 22 the opportunity to represent their clubs in an official Premier League tournament. The popularity of the FIFA video game series allows us to connect with fans globally and, over the last three years, we have seen an increasing number of people from all over the world engage with the competition.
“A number of exciting developments have been introduced this season, including a new series of qualification tournaments and a team-based format in the Grand Final. I have no doubt this will lead to another highly competitive and dramatic tournament as we build towards the climax in March 2022.”
Manchester City professional FIFA player Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette (pictured) lifted the 2020/21 ePremier League trophy, triumphing in a penalty shootout victory over Leeds United representative Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin.
Shellzz commented: “Words can’t describe how it felt winning last season’s ePremier League title. It had been a long journey to that point so it meant a lot and the competition will always be special to me for that reason. There’s always new talent emerging each year so defending my title will be a challenge but one that I’m ready for and I can’t wait to be part of the event again this year.”
Sam Turkbas, FIFA competitive gaming commissioner, added: “Our EA Sports objective is to harness the power of football and use esports entertainment to connect football fans to the game they love. In partnership with the Premier League, we’re thrilled to launch the first-ever ePremier League on next generation consoles seeing which competitors will win a trophy for their favourite Premier League club.”
“This tournament is unique in that it gives players of all abilities the chance to go from sofa to stage to represent their team on the virtual pitch; potentially even lifting a trophy on behalf of the team they support.”
The competition will be played on next-generation consoles – PlayStation5 and Xbox Series X|S – with players able to sign up at https://e.premierleague.com/. The site also includes more info and qualification rules.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.