Canberra’s A-League bid has jumped on board the astonishing success of the embryonic E-League and will host a FIFA 18 tournament to scout for gamers to represent the potential Canberra team.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) introduced the E-league tournament last season hoping to connect fans of the video game FIFA 18 with the A-League, aligning the round-robin tournament with the final nine weeks of the A-League season. The E-League was a surprise success in its first season when it out-performed the A-League in viewer numbers and culminated in a grand final watched by two million people online.
If Canberra’s dream of having a team in the A-league is realised then there will also be a Canberra team in the E-league competition and the Canberra bid team are on the lookout for gaming talent.
The bid team will host a FIFA 18 tournament, called the CBR Capital Cup, on 22 August, which will be used to help identify potential gamers for Canberra’s inaugural E-league team.
Bid Organiser Michael Caggiano said as a new club, they need to be at the forefront of innovation.
“The E-League was a runaway success last year and we want to come in and take that to another level,” Mr Caggiano said. “I encourage all of the region’s best players to take part in the CBR Capital Cup and show us what you can do.
“We aren’t in a position to be signing players yet, but the winners of this tournament will be added to our shortlist. When the time comes, they will be invited back and given an opportunity to stake their claim for selection.”
Reload bar owner Ravi Sharma said esports in Canberra was growing rapidly.
“The Canberra esports scene is exploding along with the national trend- we’re getting so many enquiries for teams, events, players and courses,” Mr Sharma said.
“Esports is taking its place in mainstream culture. We’re excited to be partnering with the bid for this event as it shows that esports can complement traditional sport – we have customers who love both.”