The Premier League, in partnership with Tencent Sports, Tencent Gaming and EA SPORTS, is launching ePremier League China later this month, the first ePremier League event to be staged outside the UK.
Some of the best Chinese gamers on EA SPORTS FIFA Online 4 will represent all 20 Premier League clubs alongside hand-picked content creators and influencers. They will compete together in a group stage to determine who reaches the finals in May. The tournament will be streamed live by Tencent across China and kicks off on Wednesday 28 April.
Premier League Commercial Director Will Brass said: “The EA SPORTS FIFA Online 4 video game series is one of the key channels through which fans in Asia can engage with Premier League clubs and players. 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.
“We are looking forward to working closely with EA SPORTS and our broadcast partner Tencent Sports to showcase some of the world’s best gamers in action. I am sure it will prove popular with the loyal and passionate supporters of Premier League clubs in China.”
Matches will be played on EA SPORTS FIFA Online 4 (FO4) on PC, which has more than 10 million registered players in China. Each of the 20 Premier League clubs will be represented in the tournament by two local players – one high-ranking gamer on the FO4 leader board and one influencer.
This will include famous esports commentator Guan Zeyuan and the well-known FIFA Online influencer Shen Rongjie.
The clubs will be divided into four groups of five teams, with the winners of each group advancing to a knockout stage. Group-stage matches will be played online, whereas knockout matches will be played offline at Wisdom Bay in Shanghai.
Group matches will take place between Wednesday 28 April and Saturday 8 May. The knockout phase will be held on Friday 14 May, with the Grand Final on Saturday 15 May.
The ePremier League China tournament will further complement the Premier League’s digital offerings in the country, where it has more than eight million followers across its digital and social platforms.
The tournament is being broadcast on Tencent Sports, Tencent Video and Tencent News. It will also be available on Huya, Douyu and Yizhibo.