The ELEAGUE esports series from Turner and WME/IMG has covered a wide variety of titles over the years, from Rocket League to Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter, Dota 2 and Counterstrike: Global Offensive, but one of the most directly sports-related ones they’ve done was a partnership with Electronic Arts for multiple FIFA 19 competitions last year. And ELEAGUE and EA announced Thursday that they have a new partnership this year around FIFA 20, involving ELEAGUE producing three EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Ultimate Team (FUT) Champions Cup events (up from one last year, with one of these events in Atlanta and two in Europe) and involving TBS becoming the exclusive English-language domestic television partner of the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series on the Road to FIFA eWorld Cup.
Here’s more from their release:
Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE and Electronic Arts announced a new EA SPORTS™ FIFA 20 Global Series on The Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup™ 2020 tournament partnership, in addition to a premium esports content collaboration. Per the agreement, ELEAGUE will now produce three EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Ultimate Team (FUT) Champions Cup events – the most of any EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series tournament partner – across North America and Europe throughout 2020. The first ELEAGUE produced event begins January 17 at ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta.
…“This expanded partnership builds on the successful relationship we’ve established with Electronic Arts and represents even more opportunities to provide fans with compelling live moments and culturally relevant esports content,” said Jennifer Dill, Vice President of esports, Turner Sports. “In addition to the role ELEAGUE will play in the growth of EA SPORTS FIFA 20 as a top-tier esport and viewing experience, we are looking forward to leveraging the full breadth of Turner Sports’ platforms and sports programming to drive additional excitement surrounding the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series.”
“Turner Sports is the ultimate sports entertainment partner because they create culturally relevant and engaging content, optimized for traditional and digital platforms,” said Brent Koning, EA SPORTS FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner. “This year’s partnership with ELEAGUE and the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series is much larger in scope and will bring the world’s esport to the masses in North America and beyond.”
It’s interesting to see ELEAGUE produce events overseas for this, and a source tells AA that these will be “original productions with ELEAGUE personnel on-site, along with supplemental local production resources.” The TBS content partnership is also notable, as it will see coverage of the whole Global Series and the FIFA eWorld Cup 2020. Those episodes will begin in January, and will include top matches, behind-the-scenes interviews and more. But as they’ve done before, ELEAGUE will also be providing live digital coverage of these events, with all three of the Champions Cup events (the Atlanta one from January 17-19, and the two to-be-announced European ones) covered live on their Twitch channel.
Overall, it’s certainly significant to see this partnership growing from one ELEAGUE-produced Champions Cup event (they also operated a licensed qualifying event last year, but the Champions Cup event was the big one) to three, and to see ELEAGUE producing two events in Europe in addition to the one in Atlanta. That seems to indicate that last year’s ELEAGUE/EA partnership worked out pretty well. We’ll see how this expanded partnership goes.