History is to be made with the formation of England’s first esports team, the eLions.
The search is on to find FIFA 19 stars to represent the Three Lions at the inaugural FIFA eNations Cup in April and further tournaments beyond that.
We will partner with leading esports company ESL to host online qualifiers on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March, with four finalists to progress to the live finals to face the nation’s best in central London on Thursday 14 March.
The tournament is open to all FIFA 19 players on PS4 or Xbox One, based in England and aged over 16 with the ultimate prize being the chance to lead your country on the global stage.
“This presents an exciting opportunity for Three Lions fans to help form a new chapter in England’s history and add a 29th side to our current stable of national teams," said Mark Bullingham, our chief commercial and football development officer.
“The FA prides itself on being a modern, innovative organisation that strives to engage and inspire all generations of football fans.
"FIFA 19 is played by hundreds of millions of players daily with many selecting our male and female players so we have a great chance to engage with these as part of our efforts to continue to grow the game in England.”
The FIFA eNations Cup will be an invite-only exhibition event for member associations and will pit 16 national teams of the very best eFootball nations against each other in the FIFA 19 Ultimate Team (FUT) mode.
With male and female eFootball players of all ages able to qualify through their member associations, the FIFA eNations Cup will be one of eight majors in the EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series all gearing towards the FIFA eWorld Cup in August 2019.
Luis Vicente, FIFA’s chief digital transformation and innovation officer, said: "The involvement of our member associations with a dedicated nations tournament is another significant and exciting step forward for FIFA and the development of eFootball globally.
"After the successful introduction of the FIFA eClub World Cup™ in recent years and the new team mode, we are looking forward to integrating this nation vs nation competition into our eFootball portfolio.”
While this latest development will see eventual winners of any gender virtually represent the England men’s senior team, The FA will continue to liaise with FIFA about the opportunity to extend this opportunity to women’s national teams.