It may still be January but 2018 is going to be a big year for eSports.  The Overwatch League is dominating Twitch while classic esports titles such as Counter-Strike:Global Offensive continue to go strong.  Into these exciting times march some big name from other branches of entertainment.  EA, Disney XD, ESPN, and the NFL are getting into esports in a big way.  

In a press release EA and the NFL announced they are teaming up with ESPN and Disney XD.  The new competitive gaming agreement includes exclusive broadcasts for the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 Championship Series.  This will include both the final rounds of the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 Club Championship and the brand-new EA SPORTS Madden NFL Ultimate League.  This will become the first-ever long-term, multi-event competitive gaming agreement of its kind for ESPN.

A New League 

The Madden NFL Ultimate League will feature one-on-one competition between 16 of the best Madden NFL 18 players. This league will run from February 2nd and culminate at the NFL Draft on April 28th. Six players qualified by finishing in the top two at one of the three EA Majors with the remaining 10 selected as top series points earners.

Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the Competitive Gaming Division at EA said, “The Madden NFL Ultimate League is purposely designed to make superstars of our best players, allowing viewers to develop player loyalties and follow competitor rivalries,”.  

At The Biggest Stage

The Madden NFL 18 Club Championship tournament started at the Pro Bowl yesterday, January 26th  but starting today ESPNEWS will allow fans to catch the quarterfinal action. The next broadcast will be the Club Championship Final itself. Broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes the Championship will be live from the Super Bowl Experience in Minneapolis, MN, on Thursday, February 1st.

Into The Spring

Between Super Bowl LII and the 2018 NFL Draft, Disney XD along with the ESPN App will be host to weekly home to Madden NFL 18 competitive content. The Madden NFL Ultimate League champion will be crowned at the Madden Bowl, which will take place live from the 2018 NFL Draft on ESPN2.

Also Beginning in April, ESPN2 will broadcast an Ultimate League Episodic Series. The content will focus on character and storylines through an exclusive entertainment style.  Following the best players in the League the series will run on Tuesdays at 9pm ET until May 1st. Episodes will also be available on demand on the ESPN App.

For those that own Madden NFL 18, they can also follow the action in-game.  An upcoming add-on experience will soon to be released within the game. EA SPORTS will also be releasing a limited-edition paid bundle of exclusive Madden Ultimate Team content and packs.  These will tailored specifically to Madden Competitive Gaming fans during Madden NFL Ultimate League play. The bundle will be available for a limited time in the Ultimate Team Store on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

There’s no bigger stage for football than the Superbowl, and now esports will be there as well.  For more details on the entire Madden NFL Championship Series, the Madden NFL Ultimate League experience, and how to watch, you can go to: www.maddenchampionship.com.

 

 

About The Author

James 'CorporalV' Verzuh was a real corporal once. Now he's an archaeologist and writes about esports.