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DFL and EA Sports team up for Fifa video game league

The German Football League (DFL), the governing body of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, has signed an agreement with video game publisher EA Sports to set up a German championship for the Fifa game series.

EA Sports is already a partner and licensee of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 and is currently in the first year of a four-year extension, from 2018-19 to 2021-12.

“Electronic games have become almost a part of daily life and culture in Germany and beyond,” said DFL chief executive Christian Seifert. “Against this backdrop, it is a wise decision for clubs and DFL to further expand their engagement in this area. It’s about shaping the future and responding to changes in media and leisure consumption in this digital age.”

Up until now, 11 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs have contracted players to represent them at a competition level

In 2012, the Bundesliga was the first major professional football league to launch a competition directly integrated with the Fifa game – the TAG Heuer Virtual Bundesliga. In 2018, more than 150,000 players competed in the tournament.

Last week, Uefa said it was exploring the possibility of launching an official esports tournament to coincide with the 2020 European Championships.

European football’s governing body has invited expressions of interest from firms with track records in the creation, organisation and operation of esports events.