- The ePremier League is expanding in China with Tencent as EA and Premier League look to consolidate their standing in the country
- After three successful seasons in the United Kingdom, the ePremier League will seek to actively pursue new markets
- A total of 40 players will be starting the group stage on April 28 and the grand finals will be held on May 15
China will see the ePremier League enter the country as part of a partnership between the Premier League, Tencent Sports, EA Sports and Tencent Esports.
ePremier League to Conquer Digital Soccer in China
The Premier League is teaming up with Tencent Sports, Tencent Esports and EA Sports to launch an esports series in China. The league will be played on EA Sports' popular soccer simulator, FIFA, and will be launching in the country later in April.
Similar partnerships have already been established in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, and Denmark, to name a few where EA Sports has been able to create eLeagues for the highly-acclaimed FIFA franchise.
Premier League commercial director Will Brass commented on the news, welcoming the partnership and saying: “After three successful ePremier League seasons in the UK, it is exciting to now be able to take this overseas for the first time and particularly to China, a hotbed for gaming and football. I am sure it will prove popular with the loyal and passionate supporters of Premier League clubs in China.”
The ePremier League China will seek to help the ePremier League establish deeper ties in the country and grow its fan base which has reached eight million people, a drop in the ocean by China's standards.
China Proves a Desirable Market for Premier League
The potential for further growth remains strong, though, and the ePremier League event will gain further traction with the country's gamers through Tencent Sports, Tencent Video and Tencent News broadcasts and coverage.
Streaming platforms Douyu, Huya and Yizhibo will also broadcast the events and bring simulated soccer to the Chinese gaming crowds. All games will be played on EA Sports FIFA Online 4 for PC which already has ten million registered users in China.
There will be room for 40 players in total, with each of the Premier League teams represented by two local players. To guarantee further exposure, the league will compile teams of high-ranked players and a known content creator.
Group matches are already scheduled to run between April 28 and May 8. The knockout phase will come on May 14 and the grand finals will be held on the following day, on May 15.