Madden 20 Championship Series ties its schedule to NFL events

And the first 'virtual' stadium naming rights deal.

Just a few months after EA announced its Madden NFL 19 bowl set new viewership records, it's laid out a schedule of events for the 2020 season. Madden NFL 20 launches next week on August 2nd -- or three days earlier for people who pre-order a special edition -- and it's touting the ability for players to go "from couch to champion."

EA has announced that it's increased the number of spots available in online eliminations, with its first Classic event scheduled to occur starting August 30th. There, fans will compete to represent one of the NFL's 32 teams at the Club Championship in December. Then there's the Madden NFL 20 Challenge during Super Bowl weekend and the Madden NFL 20 Bowl during next year's draft.

The NFL and EA have aligned the esports schedule to work along with the league, seeing it as a way to keep viewers and gamers engaged. NFL VP of Gaming & Esports Rachel Hoagland said in a statement that "We view esports as a key accelerant to growing the NFL. It enables new ways for young fans to engage in the sport through Madden NFL competition." The league has also snagged sponsors including Pizza Hut and Snickers, and this year signed up the first "virtual stadium rights deal in esports" that will put MCS Major live events in Pizza Hut Stadium.

In a world where Fortnite exists, making sure gamers still tune into your sport any way you can is probably a good strategy. More details about the esports events were announced tonight during a Twitch stream that you can watch right here.