Every year the EA Sports eSports scene is looked down upon for numerous reasons and simply do not compare to other eSports such as Call of Duty, League of Legends, DOTA etc. Why is that?
There could be a number of reasons why FIFA/EAFC has never done exceptionally well as an eSport. From the constant issues in the gameplay to a lack of events throughout the year to sports games simply not being as ‘popular’ in the eSports world. Some may think, how does the virtual representation of the biggest sport in the world not have a higher competitive following?
The biggest question here is; Have EA given up on eSports for EAFC?
The Problem With The New FC Pro Ecosystem
Pros Are Focusing on Content Creation Instead of Competing
As it currently stands, there are only 2 major tournaments in the entire cycle of the game – FC Pro World Championship and eChampions League. With such few options on the table, some pro players are bound to find other ways to make a living.
The FC Pro World Championship is well under way and a number of pro players have ‘given up’ on their chances of qualifying for the event and have rather diverted their focus onto content creation. An example of this would be the emergence of the Hashtag House which sees Harry Hesketh, Tom Leese, and Alex Shaw banding together and creating content rather than solely focussing on competition which professional players would be expected to do.
— Hashtag United (@hashtagutd) October 13, 2023
Huge_Gorilla, a staple in the FIFA eSports scene, has also increased his content creation and has recently published a website whereby he is offering services to people to help improve their skills.
8 years of competing, I’m now offering services to help improve players on EA FC.
Something I’ve wanted to do for a while and I believe I can get people better results within the game
– Team Reviews
– Play vs Me
– Gameplay Analysis
– 1 on 1 Coaching
— Spencer (@Huge_Gorilla) November 10, 2023
Although these players are still competing, it’s more in the hope that they can qualify rather than it being their sole purpose. Due to the lack of earning potential through being a professional EA FC player, which has always been an issue with FIFA in the past, pro players are now looking at other avenues in which they can monetise their skills.
EA Limits the Rewards for Community Tournaments
Another downfall to the EAFC eSports community was the banning of the Blacki Cup. The Blacki Cup has been a staple in the community for years and a way for pro players to compete and earn money aside from the minimal tournaments that are organized every year by EA Sports.
The average prize pool on a Blacki Cup tournament is £500 and EA have warned the organizer I_BlacKxLeGenD_ not to exceed $10,000 in prize winnings throughout the entire year. I_BlacKxLeGenD_ has not stopped hosting tournaments and has hosted 9 already and has a big hurdle to get over once he reaches the prize pool limit.
I am very sad and angry…
I just wanted to provide content for the community & pros. I've been making blacki cups for 4 years and I'm honestly shocked.
They not only take away the qualifiers from the pros… also the opportunity to play in daily cups.
— Maurice Aliu (@I_BlacKxLeGenD_) October 23, 2023
Now the cancellation of Blacki Cups is not the be-all and end-all of the EAFC eSports however it has further highlighted the direction that EA Sports want to take the eSports in and has again caused the community to question EA Sports’ decisions and purpose in making these decisions.