2020 saw the COVID-19 pandemic spread all over the globe which had lockdowns being imposed. Events, tournaments, social gatherings and any other outdoor activity was ceased due to the life-threatening virus. While the majority of people revolted against the lockdowns being imposed, for gamers, it was the best time ever. The Federation of Football Internationale (FIFA) saw massive losses due to the leagues, tournaments and International football being stopped due to the virus, but that did not stop the gamers from playing and virtually helped FIFA raise over 100 Million Pounds by simply gaming.
For 2020, the U-20 and U-17 World Cups were scheduled to be conducted along with the Club World Cup and Futsal World Cup but the severe outrage of the virus saw the tournaments being postponed indefinitely. While gamers had all the time to just sit at home and play, through in-game purchases and other online activities and online tournaments, FIFA and various other broadcasters saw income being generated through licensing rights, which is generated by gaming and saw 115 Million Pounds generated.
FIFA had shared a report and stated that the shares of revenue generated was through licensing rights, especially with brand licensing which used in video games. In the report, FIFA stated that it was the video games that helped generate revenue. Reacting on seeing online gaming dominate the world during the lockdowns, FIFA created five eTournaments with at least 70K Pounds being raised as prize money.
As the eTournaments took place, many professional footballers also joined in to raise awareness of the competitions, allowing gamers to participate from any part of the world. EA Sports FIFA has about 35 Million unique players and approximately 150 Million registered gamers on various platforms.
EA Sports is a partner of FIFA and has been so since 2013. It has the exclusive rights of FIFA, which it uses in its video game till December 31, 2022. The biggest e-tournamentwhich was held in 2020 was the FIFA eClub World Cup, in which North Americans Complexity Gaming had handed a 2-1 loss to Gareth Bale’s Ellevens in a penalty shoot-out and won a prize money of 31,000 Pounds.
Various players participated in the eTournaments such as Brazil’s Zezinho, Ribero, Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, Liverpool and Portugal’s Diogo Jota, Chelsea and Spain defender Cesar Azpilicueta and various other players taken part in the online competitions.
Adrian Rolli, the Head of the eFootball at FIFA, stated that the board is banking on online platforms and is finding new means to keep the FIFAe community participating and engaging in online gaming.
It was through online gamingthat the England football players had battled in a FIFA eTournament to raise funds for National Emergencies Trust amidst the ongoing pandemic. Players such as Marcus Rashford, Callm Hudson-Odoi, Alexander-Arnold, Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho, Callum Willson and other players had participated to raise awareness.
Other than the eTournaments, the release of FIFA 21 is said to be the most successful launch ever, which saw people purchasing and downloading the game online and participate in eTournaments.