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From the Madden NFL Club Championship Live Finals to Super Bowl LII

23 August 2017 15:04

The face of any National Football League (NFL) fan across the world would immediately light up if offered the chance to receive two tickets to Super Bowl LII, as well as a large chunk of a $403,000 prize pool. Many of these fans keep their thirst for all things football quenched by playing Madden throughout the week when the NFL rests. Usually the two are kept exclusive from each other, but that has all changed.

The recent launch of the Madden NFL Club Championship Live Finals offers any fan the chance to win two tickets to the big dance and a share of $403,000 whilst still representing their favourite team through Madden NFL 18.

Thanks to Electronic Arts and the NFL themselves, a 32-team online eSports tournament is now underway on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, coinciding with the recent release of EA’s Madden NFL 18 on those consoles.

From Colorado and Connecticut to Michigan and Miami and beyond, all 32 NFL teams will be represented at the finals, with the preliminary online rounds having already begun across the 52 states to decide who advances to the latter stages.

Major American Sports and eSports partnerships are nothing new after New York City FC announced the signing of professional eSports FIFA player Christopher Holly back in April. This exciting, innovative, new concept should be seen as another boost for eSports’ profile and reputation - not just in America, but elsewhere too, and strengthen the ever growing bond between established major sports and their eSports counterparts.

How does it work?

The preliminary online rounds are taking place right now, with players picking their favourite team and competing against fans from the same team in the Ultimate Team Champions game mode. For example, two Jacksonville Jaguars will clash online, and a certain number of players then will advance to the next round from each team, the detailed logistics yet to be announced.

All 32 NFL teams will then hold a live event for those gamers who progressed, with one player from each team advancing onto the Live Finals at the Pro Bowl Experience in Orlando, Florida. From there, a select few will compete at the Super Bowl Experience in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in January and February of next year where one gamer will be crowned the overall winner.

What are the benefits?

The NFL is big business in the USA, as is eSports, so it makes logical sense from a commercial and marketing perspective to combine the two into an eSports-NFL extravaganza. Advertising, sponsorship and television revenue have propelled both into what they have become today. The NFL is renowned as one of the glitziest showpiece events in the sporting calendar, whilst the atmosphere felt at an eSports event is unique in many ways to the sporting industry.

The two can work off each other, feeding off each other’s strengths. For example, merchandise sales should soar, as will ticket sales and TV rights. With such a substantial prize on offer, the masses of NFL gamers who began this process will quickly be whittled down, and the action should demonstrate quality American football that could be mistaken for the real thing. The positive, knock-on effect of this event will surely be felt worldwide throughout the eSports community.

Participants across the country will yearn to experience Super Bowl LII for themselves, and if the Madden NFL Club Championship Live Finals live up to expectations, it surely won’t be the last time eSports and the NFL combine for an American football feast. As has already been mentioned, two tickets to Super Bowl LII and a slice of the $403,000 prize pool are on ice for the winner.

Pulished on:
Updated on: 2017-08-23

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