It has been a bit of a whirlwind in the sports world recently amid COVID-19 fears. But Gareth Bale is looking to do his bit to brighten up our days.
Football has been put on hold with the Premier League and leagues across the globe shutting down for the foreseeable future. As the world is rocked by the coronavirus, football players have rallied round to help those in need by playing FIFA 20 online. Leyton Orient has organised an eSports FIFA Tournament featuring clubs from around the UK. This has inspired another tournament that has been organised by 38 Entertainment and Gareth Bale, with top players from the Premier League joining in.
talkSPORT report that this tournament is being promoted by #CombatCorona to raise funds. The tournament has already recruited the likes of Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Daniel James (Manchester United), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) and Kieran Tierney (Arsenal).
Each match will be streamed online on Twitch with a celebrity host and a Q&A during the match. Bale said in a statement:
During this difficult time, I want to give back and try to help in any way I can. #CombatCorona is a great initiative that hopefully helps the fight against coronavirus and whilst at the same time, entertain those who are unable to leave their homes. If we all do our part we can beat this together.
Gareth Bale already has his own eSports team called Ellevens Esports, which he owns in partnership with the management group 38 Entertainment. He has already signed pro-FIFA players, Pedro “Resende” Henrique Soares and Ethan “EthxnH” Higgins, to represent him in the FIFA eClub World Cup finals. Speaking of his team, Bale said
On the pitch, my goal is always to win and with Ellevens Esports, that winning attitude is just as important. There are similarities between football and esports in that it takes real dedication and sacrifice to reach the top of your game and I’m looking to recruit a team of world-class players for Ellevens across a variety of games.
Bale already has a strong connection to the FIFA franchise as he featured on the 14th edition’s cover. An honour he shares with his teammate Eden Hazard, who Bwin reports is the current cover star of FIFA 20. Interestingly, despite being the cover star Hazard is far from being the most expensive player ever on the game, with that honour going to players like Pele, Ruud Gullit, and Virgil van Dijk.
Now Gareth Bale will be hoping that his eSports tournament raises enough money to make a difference. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as the eSports market is becoming one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and is worth over a billion pounds. Individual players now earn thousands of pounds from competing in tournaments across the globe, and there are even moves being made to make eSports an Olympic sport.
In today’s current climate that idea doesn’t look as far off as it once did. With Bale and Leyton Orient leading the way in using FIFA 20 for charity, eSports could be about to reach a new and exciting audience, while also helping tackle the current crisis that is happening across the globe.
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