NFL, Electronic Arts unveil Madden '18 competition

Barsaba Taglieri
Agosto 21, 2017

Electronic Arts and the NFL announced on Monday the launch of the Madden NFL Club Championship, an esports event within the Madden NFL Championship Series that involves all 32 NFL teams, marking the largest competitive gaming commitment by a US professional sports league.

The Club Championship is the third competitive Madden NFL Championship Series, however this year's tournament marks the first time a that a complete sports league has committed to tournament participation.

National Football League commissioner Rodger Goodell said: "Competitive gaming and esports are one of the most exciting ways to engage a larger, younger and digitally savvy National Football League audience".

Chris Halpin, the NFL's chief strategy officer and senior vice president for consumer products, says esports competitors generally are young, digitally savvy and hard to reach via traditional media.

The NFL isn't the first professional sports league to attempt to tap into the growing Esports industry. In addition, the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers are one of several teams to directly invest in Esports franchises.

The competition starts Tuesday with the launch of EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 G.O.A.T Edition for Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, with players competing to win the Madden NFL Club Championship for their favorite NFL team. Events were streamed on team websites and apps and on the Madden NFL Twitch channel. That event could be at the team's stadium or another landmark in its area.

The NFL has announced that all of its 32 teams will take part in the inaugural Madden NFL Club Championship, according to an ESPN report.

The top place finisher on each leaderboard competition will then get the chance to represent their clubs at a pair of offline competitions organised around the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. Halpin said the teams involved "loved it, loved the model", but one of the criticisms he heard was that "my favorite team's not in it".

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