Esports’ FC Pro World Championship finals kick off in Berlin alongside Euro 2024 climax

July 11 – With the Euro 2024 final heading to Berlin for this weekend, the inaugural FC Pro World Championship finals, the pinnacle of EA Sports FC’s new esports ecosystem, has kicked off in the city at the Uber Eats Music Hall.

With its rebranding to EA Sports FC (EAFC), the former FIFA franchise launched EA Sports FC Pro – a global circuit of one-versus-one tournaments spanning nine regions. The game has multiple licenses from UEFA’s competitions, federations and clubs, though no longer any FIFA branding.

Played July 11-13, 32 of the world’s best FC Pro players will compete for a lion’s share of its $1 million (£786,000) prize pool, making it the most lucrative e-sports competition in football history as the sector continues to grow in popularity and financial support.

That prize figure marks a growth on EA Sports’ season-long FC Pro Open competition, which totalled winnings of around $500,000 (£388,000).

To ensure the success of EAFC’s new era, the franchise has signed several strategic partnerships, including those with broadcast production agency Whisper and PepsiCo. EA’s investments are proving fruitful, as the FC Pro Open became the most-watched tournament in EA football esports history, attracting 319,548 peak viewers and 6 million watch hours.

With the regular FC Pro Open season having already concluded, 24 competitors qualified automatically for the World Championship, whilst the remaining eight seeds were decided during the Play-In tournament on Wednesday.

Sam Turkbas, Senior Director & Commissioner, Football Esports, EA, commented on the upcoming World Championship saying: “Year 1 of FC Pro has brought global attention to the virtual pitch, deepened our playerbase’s connection with FC Pro through incredible competitions hosted by EA and our league partners.”

By dropping the FIFA naming rights, EA Sports has been given the freedom to create their own competitive ecosystem- a move which appears to have paid off and then some.

The end of the licence deal between FIFA and EA was announced in May 2022 after FIFA demanded to increase the licence fee to $1 billion every four years. This was a substantial increase on the $150 million that FIFA earned annually for the use of their name in 2022, causing EA Sports to sever ties for good and begin their own project.

FIFA have yet to launch a competitior in the market and it looks like they have missed the baot on top losing $150 million+ a year.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1721241704labto1721241704ofdlr1721241704owedi1721241704sni@g1721241704niwe.1721241704yrrah1721241704