The Singapore Premier League (SPL) has recently taken major steps to promote the E-Sports football league in Singapore. They have introduced a new, eSPL, E-Football tournament for their dedicated football fans who are still waiting for the SPL to take place after the world crisis.
The SPL was delayed in March due to the world crisis, but now, it seems that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has taken the matters in their own hands to give their supporters something. And has partnered up with Redd+E Sports, The Gym, and Zenway Productions to arrange this tournament.
A representative from each of the eight teams that were supposed to take part in the now delayed Singapore Premier League will be taking part in this test of video game skils in “Efootball Pro Evolution 2020”.
The League, taking place in the game, is taking advantage of the in-game custom editing mods, and where each individual player was accurately represented in the digital format. And to add, all participating teams were dressed in official club jerseys in the epic eFootball faceoff.
The tensions for this tournament are high, as Lion City Sailor’s defender Zulqarnaen Suzliman has released a statement: “I want to win the eSPL badly. My teammate and I have been playing football video games since we were young and have been waiting for an opportunity like this.”
And the director of commercial and Marketing, Jonathan Wong, Football Association Singapore, also commented on the new tournament: “Today’s football fans, particularly the youth, are also avid gamers as they translate their love for the game on the grass pitch to the virtual arena. By introducing the eSPL tournament, we want to provide another avenue to reach out to a younger generation who have a keen interest in both football and E-Sports.”
The tournament commenced the stage games on July 11th, and the Knockout Stage has been scheduled to be held around 18th-19th July. Where the finalists, Albirex Niigata FC Singapore and Lion City Sailors Football Club, will both face each other for the champion trophy.
Along with eSPL, a mini-tournament starring Women’s National Team is also scheduled with the grand finale. And a leading faceoff between the celebrities at SGAG (a well-known celebrity agency in Singapore) and Lion City Sailors Football Club will also be taking place there.
The finals will be officially aired on local, popular Singaporean channels like Singtel TV, meWatch, StarHUB, etc. And an olive stream will also be broadcasted on SPL’s official page on Facebook.
In the face of the major pandemic, other major Asian leagues have turned to E-Sports and are holding tournaments like this all around the world. Just before, Veikkausliiga, the Finnish official Football League, also started their E-football tournament, and the Malaysian Football League following suite has also adopted the new format. As time goes on, more and more Major leagues are restructuring for the changing times as they are being green lit to resume the tournaments, eSPL seems to be the new way to start off the delayed seasons.