Earlier today, Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, the international governing body of association football, known as soccer to many North Americans, released a lengthy document titled “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”. In this 69 page script, Infantino discusses a well-written plan as to how to effectively grow the most beloved international sport as well as enhance the experience for players and fans while strengthening the institution as a whole. Although there are a multitude of areas of emphasis in which the FIFA president plans on achieving these goals, a particularly interesting point he made regards eSports.
Along with mentioning how successful the FIFA Interactive World Cup was this year, and although this has been a recurring event for FIFA gamers since 2004, the video game hasn’t received much attention in terms of elite competition on a grand scale. Seeing as soccer is the most popular sport in the world and that the eSports industry has grown exponentially over the past decade, Infantino realizes the potential of success that implementing more events such as the Interactive World Cup could generate. This could provide a unique experience for fans of and real-life soccer players alike, since just about everyone can compete and appreciate the matchups that video games bring about.
In the document, “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”, Infantino had this to say regarding eSports: As the world of gaming expands, FIFA
has a tremendous opportunity to mimic
the production of global events on the
pitch with enhanced production of virtual
FIFA competitions. To investigate the
benefits and feasibility of expanding
FIFA’s engagement in eSports, FIFA will
commission a working group to consider
its forward-looking strategy.