FIFA QuaranTeam - Taking The Pitch Online

30 March 2020

If you’re a football fan, then you’re probably going through a few withdrawals. So much of the world has slowed down or stopped because of  the COVID-19 outbreak. National and club football teams have also put things on hold for the safety of players and the public. The stadiums are empty and seasons are left up in the air. Football and sports betting fans don’t know where to get their fill of the beautiful game so turning to esports sites has been on many football fan's agenda. 

A photograph of empty seats at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium. Source:Rick Barrett

What is the FIFA QuaranTeam Tournament?

The idea for the tournament began after the COVID-19 outbreak caused football clubs and tournaments across the world to suspend their fixtures.While the outbreak and quarantines have left many people scared about the future, there have been some lighter sides to social distancing.

Those in quarantine have had to get inventive in order to entertain themselves. Viral videos such as the toilet paper challenge have seen football players and fans alike to see how well they can juggle a roll of toilet paper like a football. With such a vibrant online community of football lovers the invention of the QuaranTeam Cup was inevitable.

The QuaranTeam Cup is an online tournament played through EA Sports’ popular FIFA 20 video game. The tournament will see 128 teams from around the world compete to be the best. Both professional FIFA players and actual football players have gotten involved behind the joysticks.

The concept for the cup comes from England’s Leyton Orient Football Club. The club got the digital ball rolling by extending an invitation for the competition to 63 other football clubs on Twitter. The response was so overwhelming that Leyton Orient quickly expanded the competition to include 128 teams in total. The only condition was that their team must be one of the teams on offer within the FIFA 20 game.

Leyton Orient announced that they would be using the event for charitable causes. The club will be donating any money raised to Mind, the mental health charity, as well as the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fundraiser. Leyton Orient have also stated that funds will support smaller English Football League clubs whose financials have been hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

What is the format of the competition?

The initial line-up for the first round of 128 consisting of 64 matches was drawn live on Leyton Orient’s Twitter account. The round of 128 was played from 22 March. After that a round of 64 and round of 32 followed on 24 and 26 March respectively. The tournament is being played in a knockout format whereby the loser of each match is kicked from the competition.

After that is a round of 16, then quarter-finals, then semi-finals, all played two days apart. The final match will be played on Friday 3 April once all but two teams have been eliminated from the competition. The teams are streaming their matches online and their results can be found online and on your mobile casino. All players are playing on Sony Playstation 4 to ensure an even playing field.

So far the competition boasts an impressive roster of teams from across the globe. Such teams include big names like Manchester City, West Ham United and Aston Villa. As for who controls the players, that’s up to the discretion of the teams. Professional footballers such as Andros Townsend, Neal Maupay and Todd Cantwell will each be representing their respective real-life teams of Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Norwich.City. Other clubs are made up of regular and professional gamers such as one of Manchester City’s official esports players, Shellzz, who will be representing the Citizens.

Outside of the UK, some other notable teams taking part are AS Roma from Italy’s Serie A, Marseille from France’s League One and Lokomotiv Moscow from the Russian Premier League. This is only a few of the teams participating however, with some coming from as far away as the Australian A-League.

 Two gamers playing FIFA on Playstation 4. Source:Evan-Amos

Who are the favourites to win it?

Fans were quick to rally around the event, picking their favourites for the tournament and placing bets on their mobile casino. Manchester City are the current Premier League favourites with an 8/1 odds. This is probably because of their decision to use a professional esports player to take control of the Citizens’ digital team. Close behind Manchester City are Sheffield United with 12/1 odds.

Whoever the final winner will be remains to be seen. What’s also unknown is whether this competition might become an annual event. But until the COVID-19 situation is over and life returns to normal, it’s good to have the FIFA QuaranTeam cup to scratch your football itch.

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