It was a historic day on Wednesday as esports bigwigs announced plans to hold an esports event for the FIFA 19 World Cup in 2022 and 2026.
Electronic Arts and FIFA were joined by representatives from Ubisoft, Altimo, Counter Logic Gaming, Rocket League, Riot Games, Tanisha Wright, PUBG Corp., and 2K to make the announcement at GDC Asia, S. Korea.
The next World Cup will be the first to be held in China, though considering the nation’s involvement it makes sense, and expected to be produced by PUBG Corp.
“The combination of this event and the first partnership with local authorities in China is another sign of PUBG’s exponential growth and expansion,” PUBG Corp. CEO Brendan Greene said in a statement. “As one of the biggest games of the past year, and the most popular game in esports, we’re looking forward to showcasing our team and our players in this epic competition.”
What else have you heard about this announcement?
A biometric assessment for World Cup players.
A new playing map for the tournament.
A new event structure.
A year-round esports tournament network.
Though it’s entirely up to PUBG Corp. how they choose the grounds and available events to host in China, the new strategy emphasizes match format. Unlike PUBG’s only major gamefest so far, Fortnite: Battle Royale, this event will be broadcast live online each day with a dedicated site so fans of both games can watch and share their results.
Altimo, which has held some of esports’ biggest tournaments in recent years including CS:GO 1.0, Heroes of the Storm Esports, Call of Duty World League, Major League Gaming and Overwatch League.
What do they mean when they say that the next World Cup will be the first to be held in China? There will be plenty of Chinese players in this World Cup whether they’re invited to apply or not. The first round of qualifying in 2022 began on Monday, November 12th at a qualifying event in Wuzhen. Chinese players won all the first round matches, but only the second-round qualifiers begin on Monday, November 26th. So while Chinese nationals made it into the first round of World Cup qualifiers, only a handful will remain for the top eepcraft round, which will be played in December.
Along with the awarding of full-time jobs to a few current World Cup players, Altimo also offered them the opportunity to be featured on the official World Cup merchandise. Finally, they dropped a new qualifying map from the new number 10, taking fans by surprise. According to Altimo, the map was a major inspiration for the official World Cup roster.
Unfortunately, the first round of qualifiers are closed so if you want to apply for the next World Cup you’ll have to find a way to get in after the deadline of November 12th.