It took an international pandemic and soccer (as well as all physical sports) being suspended worldwide as a result of COVID-19, but the Liga MX finally caught up to the eSports craze.
The Mexican top flight announced a proposal for an eLiga MX on EA Sports’ FIFA 20 video game a few weeks ago after an owners’ meeting, and now that idea has come to fruition, according to an official statement made by the league on April 7.
How it will work:
The virtual tournament, whose schedule will mirror that of the 2020 Clausura, will begin this Friday, April 10. Every Liga MX team will be participating, with three players representing each institution, however, the teams will only play 1 v. 1 games. The participating players will be revealed throughout the week via each individual team.
The e-tournament will work the exact same way as the real one: 17 jornadas with the top eight teams going into a playoff bracket to determine a champion.
According to the league, the first jornada of this event will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while the second jornada will take place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, resting on Thursday from the activity and returning next Friday with the third jornada.
The halves will last six minutes each, with a two-and-a-half minute break in between. All games will be played on Sony’s PlayStation 4.
The dates and times of each game will be defined before the day. Up to four matches can be played per day. For the champion, there will be a special badge that accredits that team as the winner of the eLIGA MX, in addition, winners in individual categories will also be recognized, according to the league.
How can I watch?
TUDN will be the network to air all the matches live on television, both in the U.S. and in Mexico. ChivasTV will also air all of Chivas’ matches like normal, although it’s unclear right now whether any of these games will be live streamed online on social channels.
¡La pasión no se detiene!— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) April 7, 2020
Tus jugadores favoritos toman el control y juegan desde su casa
¡Vive tu #SobremesaFutbolera, el futbol ⚽de otra manera EN @TUDNMEX Y @TUDNUSA!#MiCasaEsTuCasa | #eLigaMx | #TuCasaTuCancha pic.twitter.com/ziWXirOUKI
The Liga MX is already the most watched soccer league in America, and it will be interesting to see how many views these virtual games bring in.
Here’s the full Jornada 1 schedule:
¡HABEMUS LIGA MX EN FIFA 20!— Josh Mendoza ⚽️ (@JoshimarMM) April 7, 2020
América debuta este viernes 10 de abril vs Puebla en la Jornada 1 de la #eLigaMX
El partido inicia a las 8 PM y será transmitido por TV Azteca. Serán dos tiempos de 6 minutos con un descanso de 2.38 minutos.
Aquí la Jornada 1 completa ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dejjQu1sSX
Are there any other leagues/sports doing this?
Mexico is the first country since world football was stopped to start a gaming competition in lieu of real-life league play. It’s also the first nation to have all of its top-flight teams participate in a virtual league setting.
The NBA’s 2K Players’ Tournament, which pits 16 NBA players against each other, knockout-round style, began April 3 and is set to conclude with its final match on April 11. The tournament features (or did feature) NBA stars Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young, among others. Those games are aired live on TV via ESPN and ESPN2, as well as online on the ESPN and NBA apps, NBA.com, and on NBA and 2K social channels on Twitch, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Chivas: Dieter Villalpando, Raúl Gudiño and Fernando Beltran
Club America: Giovani dos Santos, Nicolas Benedetti and Santiago Caseres
Monterrey: Cesar Montes, Luis Cardenas and Eric Cantu
Tigres: Nahuel Guzman, Francisco Venegas and Julián Quiñones
Pumas UNAM: Juan Pablo Vigon, Alan Mozo and Luis Quintana
Queretaro: Marcel Ruiz, Jaime Gomez and Jeison Lucumi
Toluca: Felipe Pardo, Alan Medina and Diego Rosales
Santos Laguna: Josecarlos van Rankin, Gerardo Arteaga and Octavio Rivero
Atlas: Luciano Acosta, Brayton Vazquez and Ismael Govea
Pachuca: Cristian Souza, Kevin Alvarez and Romario Ibarra
Tijuana: Alexis Castro, Miguel Barbieri and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez
Necaxa: Daniel Alvarez, Carlos Guzman and Jairo Gonzalez
Atletico San Luis: Antonio Portales, Carlos Gutierrez and Luis Reyes
Leon: Angel Mena, Ivan Rodriguez and Nicolas Sosa
Cruz Azul: Jonathan Borja, Santiago Gimenez and Lucas Passerini
Morelia: Cesar Huerta, Paolo Medina and Luis Malagon
Puebla: Santiago Ormeño, Christian Tabo and Brayan Angulo
FC Juarez: Eder Borelli, Diego Rolan and Maxi Olivera
How do you like this new eLiga MX? Will you be watching? What team do you think has the sickest gamers? Does Cruz Azul winning a virtual title count as breaking the curse? Will Atlas still suck in FIFA? Answer all this and tell us more in the comments below!
You can follow Antonio on Twitter @antonio1998__