The eSports event is part of the Madden NFL Championship Series and includes all 32 NFL teams. Never before has a major US sports league become so widely known in the field of competitive gaming.
The competition started with the launch of EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 G.O.A.T Edition. The game is available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Players compete with their favorite NFL team for the Madden NFL Club Championship. Players qualify through online contests. The best players can compete in NFL stadiums.
The top 32 players face each other in the Madden NFL Club Championship Live Finals. There is only one player per NFL team. The tournament debuts at the Pro Bowl Experience in Orlando and culminates in the Super Bowl Experience in Minneapolis.
A Dream Come True for Fans
“Competitive gaming and eSports are the most exciting ways to interact with a broad, young and digital-savvy NFL audience,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Working with EA to develop the Madden NFL Club Championship gives us a unique opportunity to capture the excitement in the NFL and the passion of our fans through a competition that everyone can participate in.”
The Madden NFL Club Championship has been called the “EA Majors” event of the Madden NFL Championship series. With a budget of $ 1.15 million, the Madden NFL Championship Series hosted events last season.
“Our first season with Madden NFL competitions was a great success. We’ve been interacting with millions of players and the passion of NFL fans worldwide,” said Andrew Wilson, EA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Now we’re taking Competitive Gaming and our NFL partnership to an unprecedented level. Madden NFL players compete to represent all 32 NFL teams. The Madden NFL Club Championship is the opportunity sports fans have been waiting for – to live their dream and play for their favorite team on a global stage.”
NFL relies on typical “casual gamers”
In contrast to other eSports competitions, the NFL wants to reach the broad mass of “casual gamers.”
The NFL is the first US sports league to present all of its teams for use in eSports. At the beginning of 2015, the NFL teams were able to hold their own Madden competitions as part of the Madden 17 Club Series.
The Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks were the first teams to host their own competitions. According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, a four-hour Jaguars event at the EverBank Field interested 750,000 unique viewers.
Sports leagues worldwide are discussing how to deal with eSports. Formula 1 is starting its own eSports series in September. At the 2024 Olympics, eSports competitions could also take place. They are also a mass phenomenon in Germany.