When it comes to big money in videogames, you can't help but think of EA's massive FIFA franchise. A thousand licensing agreements and one of the most lucrative brand names in the world makes it a hotbed of high-profile online competition.
Virtual footy fans should be excited, then, that EA have just announced the plans for their next eWorld Cup event. While the finals are still nearly a full year away, the first qualifier matches kick off in less than a week.
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There's a long road to walk if you want to end up at the grand finals in August next year, but the first step for many will be playing official Road To The eWorld Cup tournament matches via FIFA 18's Ultimate Team mode. These matches will start on November 3rd, and the very best players will be invited to join live tournaments next January & April.
This isn't the only path into the world cup. Existing pro FIFA teams are set to compete in organised eClub tournaments of their own, with the cream of the crop moving to to the playoffs later next year. No dates have been set on this yet, though.
Beyond that, official FIFA league partners and licensed qualifiying competitions will be offering their own routes into the grand tournament, although EA haven't announced their full plans for these groups yet.
When all is said and done, the eWorld Cup event in August will invite the world's 32 best players - 16 from the Ultimate Team cup, 16 from organised leagues - to compete for fame, glory, and - if last year's $200,000 winner's prize was anything to go by - a fat sack of cash.