Manchester City to Host eSports Tournament in USA
Professional sports teams from all over the world have started to get in on the burgeoning eSports industry. A variety of NFL, NBA and NFL teams have already added professional eSports teams to the mix, and now we can add Manchester City of the Premier League to the list. When they head to the United States for a pre-season tour next month, Manchester City will be hosting an eSports tournament. Along with eSports tournament platform Battlefy, City will host the Man City FIFA 17 Cup. The tournament will feature an online tournament and live finals when the team visits Houston, Texas, in July.
“This is a natural evolution for Manchester City,” said Diego Gigliani, SVP of media and innovation at City Football Marketing, part of club owner City Football Group. “As eSports continues to gain momentum, it makes sense for Manchester City to be part of the action and get closer to our fans, who love playing FIFA as Manchester City. The Man City FIFA 17 Cup is a unique opportunity for us to engage a new audience and provide a genuine integration between eSports and traditional sport.”
The tournament will wrap-up its preliminary stages this week. The top 128 qualifiers will then be divided down to a final two using a series of best-of-three playoff games. The final two players on each console will fly to Houston along with the team to compete for the title before Manchester City take on their crosstown rivals, Manchester United, in a friendly at NRG Stadium.
A number of English clubs have already inked the top FIFA players to contracts in the past, and some teams have gone so far as to branch out to non-sports titles like League of Legends. Manchester City signed its first eSports player, Kieran “Kez” Brown nearly a year ago. City joined the likes of Wolfsburg, Schalke and West Ham among teams that had already committed to eSports.
The NBA has been the quickest American sports league to hop on the eSports bandwagon. FIFA, EA Sports’ ever-popular soccer title, has enjoyed a surge in popularity of late and has emerged as one of the year’s breakout eSports hits.
The Man City FIFA 17 Cup will be hosted on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The preliminary tournament began back on June 16. Players were required to complete a minimum of 15 games and were to be ranked based on winning percentage. The best-of-three single elimination tournament between the top 128 players is set to go down on July 1 and 2.
The four total finalists also receive a signed 2017/18 Man City home kit. Those players will also receive a FUT TOTS Kevin De Bruyne card. All players participating in the tournament must live in the United States.
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