The inaugural Irish FA eCup, sponsored by Belfast-based digital marketing agency Loud Mouth Media, was officially launched today.
The competition, which will run on FIFA 21 across PlayStation and XBOX consoles, is now open for entries. The closing date is Friday 2 April at 5pm.
Mark Haslam, Managing Director of Loud Mouth, which is also an official partner of Irish FA eSports, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the increasingly exciting world of eSports. To be able to support our local e-Sports scene is a huge privilege and we are proud to be able to get involved.”
The XBOX and PlayStation winners will each be crowned Northern Ireland FIFA 21 eSports National Champions and receive £500 prize money – and they will also represent Northern Ireland at the FIFA eNations Cup later this year.
The Irish FA eCup competition is part of a new Irish FA strategy/programme of events in the world of competitive video gaming which will have a focus on national and international competitions across both Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA 21 games.
Stephen Bogle, Head of Sales and Marketing at the Irish Football Association, said:
“We’re really excited to launch our inaugural Irish FA eCup. This is a great opportunity for local gamers to not only become our first ever National Champions but also to go on and represent Northern Ireland on the international stage.
“We would encourage all gamers to get involved in the competition and we look forward to welcoming the winners into our national squad later this year.”
The early rounds of the Irish FA eCup will be played on 8, 9, 15 and 16 April, while the last 16 stage is scheduled for Friday 23 April.
And in the last 16 there will be a special entrant – Northern Ireland international Liam Boyce, who is the Irish FA’s ambassador for eSports. The Hearts striker, who is an avid gamer, will be allocated his opponent at random.
The competition’s quarter-finals will be staged on 24 April, while the semi-finals are due to be held on 6 May and the final on 7 May.
Gamers must be aged 16 and over to enter. For further information go to www.irishfa.com/esports