FA to launch first England esports team on FIFA 19 with ESL
FIFA 19 players will be given the chance to play for England in the Football Association's first official esports team in an "historic" partnership between the FA and ESL.
Online qualifiers will be played on PS4 and Xbox One to find four finalists to take part in live finals in London against other top players.
The best two players will then represent England at the FIFA eNations Cup.
The FIFA eNations Cup will be an invite-only exhibition event for 16 national teams, facing off in FIFA 19 Ultimate Team (FUT) mode.
How to enter
Players must be 16 or over and can enter on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
FA FIFA eLions Qualifiers (online)
Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th
Live studio finals
Thursday March 14th - London
FIFA eNations Cup
April 13th and April 14th - host city to be confirmed
'A new chapter in England's history'
FA chief commercial and development officer Mark Bullingham said: “This presents an exciting opportunity for Three Lions fans to help form a new chapter in England’s history.
"The FA prides itself on being a modern, innovative organisation that strives to engage and inspire all generations of football fans.
"FIFA 19 is played by hundreds of millions of players daily with many selecting our male and female players so we have a great chance to engage with these as part of our efforts to continue to grow the game in England.”
FIFA is the 'gateway drug' to esports
Paul Chaloner - AKA Redeye - is an advocate of FIFA's role in esports and has spoken previously about the console title's power to get players involved.
The highly respected broadcaster and Luckbox ambassador said: "That for me is like the gateway drug to esports, it gives you an in, but once you’re in, let’s show you some of the other cool stuff as well.
"That’s not to denigrate FIFA - it’s a great game with a great community - but there are bigger games and bigger esports around to get these teams to look at.
I think that can only be of a benefit to UK esports too, as we do a lot of console stuff in the UK, rather than PC.
We’re good at FIFA, we’re good at F1 esports, we’re pretty good at Call of Duty, all on console.
"So, I think the more teams that come along and want to invest in esports via a FIFA team, the better, that’s great for the UK esports scene."
Main picture: FIFA.com