EA and FIFA plan their most ambitious eSports competition yet

Both pros and fans can participate.

FIFA's Interactive World Cup has been been growing in stature over the years, and its next eSports competition promises to be the most ambitious yet: the organization and EA have unveiled plans for the "largest ever" FIFA competition (using FIFA 18, naturally) this fall. The Interactive World Cup is still the star of the show and will revolve around players signed to clubs, but it's only one part of a larger picture. Players worldwide will have a shot at representing real-world teams in official competitions, and Ultimate Team Championships Cups will let virtually anyone qualify for a chance at glory in winter and spring events.

You won't hear much more about the competition until the summer, but EA is promising that "top-tier" eSports outfits will provide more opportunities to play in the big leagues. The whole competition will last for a year, so there won't be a shortage of events to watch.

It could be a while before we know if the competition comes anywhere close to matching the initial hype. However, FIFA tourneys have the potential to be large simply due to the nature of soccer (aka football). It's a sport defined by its international appeal, and FIFA is one of the few video game franchises where you'll see conventional teams offering support. There's a lot of money on the table compared to some eSports leagues -- it only makes sense for EA and FIFA to do whatever they can to help their competitions grow.