Esports: Premier League to launch inaugural ePremier League

Gamers playing Fifa 19
All 20 Premier League teams will be represented in the ePremier League

Gamers will be able to follow in the footsteps of their favourite footballers as the Premier League launches its first esports competition.

The ePremier League starts in January and UK-based players will compete against one another on Fifa 2019.

After the initial online qualification round, clubs will host live play-off rounds, with two competitors from each of the 20 clubs reaching the final.

The final in London from 28-29 March will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

"We know that millions of fans play Fifa and this new esports competition will provide our clubs with an exciting opportunity to engage with them," said Premier League managing director Richard Masters.

The tournament, in association with games publisher EA Sports, is accessible on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and registration opens in December.

France, Germany, Australia and the United States are among the countries to already have esports leagues.

The likes of Ajax, Schalke and Paris St-Germain give a big profile to their esports teams and Danish side Brondby have won the past two Fifa eClub World Cups, but Manchester City are one of only a few English clubs to have experimented with having an esports player.

Saudi Arabia's Mosaad 'Msdossary' Aldossar beat more than 20 million competitors to win the Fifa eWorld Cup in August.

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