March 4 – Japan’s J.League is the latest big league to announce it is entering the competitive esports arena with it clubs lined up to play in tournament on Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) game. Other leagues have generally opted for the EA Sports FIFA 19 platform.
The competition will feature all 40 clubs in the J.League’s top two divisions with each club fielding three players. The final tournament will be played on July15 and will be offline. online qualifiers begin March 22.
The tournament will be played on the mobile-app version of the PES game and was one of the six titles played as part of a demonstration sport last year at the Asian Games in Indonesia.
The mobile version of PES 2019 was updated in mid-December last year, with the app having achieved 150 million downloads worldwide by August 2018.
J.League chairman Mitsuru Murai said: “Esports is enjoyed by people of different generations, gender and whether they have disabilities or not. It is a useful way to spread the attractions of soccer.”
The J.League venture is not Konami’s first esports collaboration in football. Konami joined with the UEFA Champions League to make its PES League World Tour 2018 the official UEFA Champions League eSports competition and has just started in the six team eFootball.Pro league which is played on the PES platform.
eFootball.Pro was founded by Barcelona player Gerard Piqué and is owned by Esports Media Rights. The six teams competing in the league are FC Barcelona, FC Schalke 04, AS Monaco, Celtic FC, Boavista FC and FC Nantes.
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