Returning for its sixth year, the Premier League and EA have officially announced the ePremier League (ePL) for the 2023/24 season, the competition giving fans a shot at glory by winning the ePremier League title.
This year, the competition is spicing things up by featuring the newly launched EA SPORTS FC 24 for the tournament, taking the gaming experience to a new level. With a whopping prize pool of £100,000 up for grabs, the stakes are higher than ever. In addition to the prize pool, the winning team will secure their seats in the UEFA eChampions League and the FC Pro World Championships, setting the stage for further glory.
It's time to get excited about #ePremierLeague 🤩
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 18, 2023
The tournament kicks off with online qualifications in FC 24 Ultimate Team Friendly Seasons mode in November, each club having its own set of dates. This phase is open for registration to UK residents aged 16 and above, offering a platform for local talents to shine.
Post registration, players will battle it out in a series of online tournaments, with the best advancing to the Club Playoffs that will be played in FC 24 Competitive Mode. During this stage, each Premier League club will handpick two players, one per console (PS5 and Xbox X|S), to represent them in the Finals.
For the 2023/24 season, there will be some squad building restrictions that can be checked on the official ePremier League website.
ePL Grand Finals & Prize
Fast-forward to January 2024, the ePremier League Finals will unfold over two adrenaline-filled weekends. The group stages are scheduled for 20 and 21 January, where the top four clubs will claim their spots in the Grand Final.
The remaining teams will get another shot at glory on 23 March, leading to the Grand Final showdown on the following day. The Finals format remains a collaborative effort, with one player per console engaging in a series of 1v1 matches against counterparts from other clubs.
The prize pool is structured to reward the top performers generously, with the prize money being equally shared between the club representatives. The champions will pocket £30,000, the runner-up will take home £15,000, the 3rd and 4th place finishers will receive £7,500 each, while the subsequent positions down to 16th place will also get a share of the prize money.
ePL Fast-Tracked Players
Following the reveal of the official guideline rules for this season, a new detail has spawned, allowing select clubs to fast-track players directly to the Club Playoffs phase. Under this new regulation, these fast-tracked players will compete against the winners of each club’s online classification to determine who will represent the team in the Finals.
However, this feature stipulates a distinct advantage for the fast-tracked players. While the top performers from online classifications must secure two victories against the fast-tracked player to advance, the latter only requires a single win to move on to the Finals.
This has caused quite the backlash in the FC esports community, with a few pro players arguing the unfairness for those who top their online qualifiers and risk to not proceed in their journey because of this new detail.
FUTWiz representative EthxnH stated that some players who never had any kind of affiliation to Premier League clubs in the past got fast-tracked for no reason at all:
ePremierLeague time again.
Seeing people who have zero affiliation to certain clubs get fast tracked past others for no reason.
Twenty-ish people have been fast tracked with some whom have never even played for the club.
Does not sit right with me personally.🙂🙂
— FUTWIZ EthxnH (@EthxnH_) October 18, 2023
While last year’s ePL winner Tom Stokes mentioned his disappointment at this new change, stating that this is a “huge step back“:
Worth noting for those wishing to represent a team that around 12 clubs have ‘fast-tracked’ players — who immediately spawn into the grand final (meaning you’d have to beat them twice to represent the club, they’d have to beat you once)
An unreal opportunity and I’m very proud… https://t.co/vJreoAuTWN
— FUTWIZ Stokes (@TomStokesFC) October 18, 2023
ePL Key Dates
To sum it up nicely, here are the most important dates for those who will either compete or wish to follow their favourites battle their way to the ePL title:
- Online Qualification Tournaments: 2-3, 7-8, 16-17 November 2023
- Online Qualifier Playoff: 21-22 November 2023
- Club Playoffs: December 2023 (Exact dates TBC by each club)
- Finals Group Stages: 20 and 21 January 2024
- Finals: 23 and 24 March 2024
ePL Stars Return
The ePremier League has been a stage for some of the big figures in EA SPORTS FC esports to showcase their skills, with notable players like recent Man City Esports signing Donovan “Tekkz” Hunt and Tom Leese ready to dive back into the competition. The previous season saw Leeds United’s Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin and Tom Stokes reign supreme as the 2022/23 ePremier League Champions, after a stellar performance defeating Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 on aggregate in the Grand Final.
With the blend of a new gaming platform, a hefty prize pool, and the return of seasoned players, the ePremier League is poised for an enthralling season, promising a spectacle of top-tier esports competition.