Earlier this year, PEC Zwolle became champion of the eDivisie, the special competition of the Eredivisie for gamers, in front of thousands of people in AFAS Live. Two weeks later, the first corona case was diagnosed in the Netherlands, and the world changed.
Next Tuesday, a new season of the competition will start. Due to the virus, football gamers can no longer sit directly opposite each other. They are forced to stay at home or sit in the stadium of their club. All matches take place online. Getting together is impossible for the time being.
PlayStation and Xbox
Gaming is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. The best gamers earn prize money at international tournaments and have advertising revenue. They are stars for millions of gaming youngsters. In order to interest these young people in real football, the Eredivisie has created the eDivisie. The gaming should ensure that the young people become interested in a club, get out from behind the screen and sit in a real stand in a real stadium, even if that is on a chilly Saturday evening in November.
Each Eredivisie club has two gamers under contract for the eDivisie. One of them plays the popular football game FIFA 21 on an Xbox, the other on a PlayStation. They play against the same opponent at the same time. The scores are added together and that is the final result of a duel.
‘Ajax and Heracles favorites’
The gamers can line up any available player in FIFA 21. It is therefore possible to see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo together in the shirt of PEC Zwolle.
Eight teams qualify for a final day on January 17, where the new national champion will be announced. In principle, those matches are also played in isolation, unless the corona virus is then so far under control that it can still be turned into a major event. Its location is not yet known. According to the eDivisie, Ajax and Heracles are favorites for the national title, and FC Groningen and Vitesse are dangerous outsiders.
FIFA eWorld Cup and E_Oranje
The upcoming national champion will win 25,000 euros, to be divided between the two gamers. In addition, during the eDivisie, gamers can take a step towards qualifying for the official world championship for the game, the FIFA eWorld Cup.
In addition, the four gamers will get a place in the pre-selection of the new Dutch game team, called E_Oranje, in the final.