The NFL is the latest to dive into esports with a partnership with EA Sports to create a nationwide “Madden NFL 18” tournament. The Club Championship will begin with local tournaments in each of the 32 team league markets with a representative from each team getting a chance to represent the team in the championship rounds.
The individual teams will wet up the tournaments and they may be hosted at NFL stadiums and other team facilities. The championship-round events will take place at the Pro Bowl in Orlando and Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
The move brings the NFL into esports. Although it is not the same as the NBA’s formation of an eleague with Take-Two Interactive, it is a push toward involving its video game with fans. Notably, only 17 NBA teams are participating in the initiative which starts this fall. But all 32 NFL teams will be participating in Madden.
There were no financial terms on the creation of the Madden NFL Club Championship. Although there was no announcement on a broadcast or streaming deal which would air the tournament, you might expect one occurring in the near future.
ESPN had aired previous tournaments involving EA Sports’ Madden series.
The move reflects the growing market for esports and leagues attempting to jump on the bandwagon to engage fans and eventually monetize.