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La Liga’s FIFA 20 Esports tournament attracts over a million viewers

La Liga’s charity FIFA 20 Challenge Esports tournament held over the weekend had more than one million viewers in total who tuned in, according to the Spanish top-flight soccer league’s organising body.

Collectively there were 18 teams from Spain’s top-flight who took part in the competition on 22nd March, which was streamed live via YouTube, Twitch, the LaLigaSportsTV over-the-top (OTT) platform, as well as on La Liga’s official social media channels to ensure everyone could get access to the coverage.

Barcelona and Real Mallorca weren’t allowed to participate due to their sponsorship with Konami – the makers of FIFA 20’s main competitor, Pro Evolution Soccer.

The tournament was organised by Esports commentator Ibai Llanos and endorsed by La Liga, where it took shape in partnership with Spanish banking group Santander, La Liga’s main title sponsor, as well as EA Sports, the producers of the most recent FIFA 20 title.

It raised more than €140,000 ($250,000) to fight Covid-19, as Spain has become one of the hardest hit countries in the world.

La Liga commentator Miguel Ángel Román joined Llanos in presenting the matches, and players gave interviews in the aftermath as an effort to replicate the feel of a traditional match day experience.

The tournament was created and launched whilst the La Liga season is suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. The final itself saw more than 170,000 viewers tune in as Real Madrid striker Marco Asensio beat Leganés player Aitor Ruibal to claim the title.

In terms of linear distribution, La Liga’s domestic broadcast partner Movistar+ also showed matches on Spanish television, via its Deportes 1 channel, while Eleven Sports also aired the tournament in Belgium and Portugal.

La Liga has said that it is also carrying out further analysis to clarify the tournament’s reach via the #LaLigaSantanderChallenge hashtag, which was shared by influencers, clubs, and players, as well as Movistar and La Liga’s US broadcast partner, BeIN Sports.

Judging by the numbers for this tournament, it proved to be the winner as gaming proves popular while people are having to self isolate.

The EA Sports FIFA franchise has connected fans all around the world, continuing to be a popular source of competitive online gameplay.

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Soil turned at Western United stadium site as construction commences

Western United has announced that works have commenced on the construction of the Wyndham City Stadium precinct.

Western United has announced that works have commenced on the construction of the Wyndham City Stadium precinct.

Works have begun on the site’s haul road, which the club’s statement described as ‘the first tactile step in the project’. This means plans are officially underway as the club seeks to deliver a 15,000-capacity rectangular stadium and a surrounding training precinct which will include an additional 1,000-seat stadium.

Speaking on behalf of Western Melbourne Group (WMG) – Western United’s parent company – Chairman Jason Sourasis was proud to see works officially get underway.

“This is a proud moment for WMG, the football club and the community who have been on this journey with us from the start,” he said.

“I am delighted that the first earth-moving vehicles are on site, we’re on our way now.

“Just to get to this point has been years of preparation and planning, and I’d like to thank our partner Wyndham City Council for their hard work and support.”

United CEO Chris Pehlivanis’ excitement was the overwhelming emotion as first soil was turned on the 62-hectare site.

“It’s fantastic that early works have commenced on the site, this is the biggest milestone for our Club to date,” Pehlivanis said.

“The best thing about our Western United community is their unwavering support and passion, this is a wonderful reward for all those who have been with us from the beginning.

“I’m excited. Get ready, from here on in, there will be plenty of moments to celebrate as we watch the precinct come to life with those on the journey with us – our loyal members, partners, footballers, staff, volunteers and fans.”

The club statement outlined that these works represented the first phase of a multi-phase approach to the construction of the precinct.

Phase one is expected to take 8-12 weeks to complete.

The haul road which is being established will provide the site access to water, gas, electricity and internet, as well as providing heavy vehicle access to the new stadiums’ exact location.

Sydney FC’s Men and Women sides named Australasia’s Best Sporting Teams

SFC

Sydney FC’s A-League Men and Women sides have been named Australasia’s Best Sporting Team for 2021 and Best Female Sporting Team respectively.

This year saw the Sky Blues Men finish on top of the list and the Sydney FC Women fifth out of almost 200 professional teams. The yearly analysis is conducted by Platinum Asset Management, together with GAIN LINE Analytics.

Sydney FC’s Men won the award, having secured three A-League Men’s Championships in the last five years, while Sydney FC’s A-League Women have been represented in four out of the past five Grand Finals, winning one Championship and one Premiership, in an outstanding period for the club.

The analysis looks at every game in every Australasian sporting competition conducting a home/away or equivalent competition, including Australian teams.

The annual analysis, based on rolling five-year outcomes (2017-2021), contains 16 competitions, including 6 women’s competitions, and the unisex League of Legends Circuit Oceania (esports).

Almost 8,000 individual matches were included in the dataset analysed.

Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend has previously gone on the record citing a “vision to be the best sporting team in the country of any code” and this award reaffirms this commitment.

“To have the highest rated men’s and women’s teams of all codes in Australia and New Zealand is a huge achievement,” Townsend said/

“Over the last five years our Men’s and Women’s teams have competed in eight out of 10 Grand Finals and it is this consistency that has delivered this accolade.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone at the club from our owners David Traktovenko and Scott Barlow and our Board of Directors to our coaching staff and players, as well as our Members who have stuck by us during a difficult time through displacement from our home stadium and the global pandemic.

“It is an outstanding achievement to celebrate and we will look to challenge for the title again next year.”

Sydney FC have nominated the Sydney FC Foundation to receive a $10,000 grant from Platinum, in recognition of their success.

The Sydney FC Foundation seeks to meaningfully connect with the Sydney FC community and enrich the lives of young people through the power of football and education. The grant will specifically go towards the Foundation’s community pillar and support the Sydney FC Powerchair football team.

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