E-Ligue 1 Is Coming to Africa!

As esports continues its incredible rise, its global reach is also expanding. E-Ligue 1, the French FIFA22 league, is about to enter its second season after a successful inaugural event last year. It follows the event’s elevation to the FIFA global series in 2021, marking it out as one of the world’s premier FIFA gaming events.

The event will tour various continents including the Middle East, North and South America, and, for the very first time, Africa. Competitors get the chance to become national champions before traveling to France to compete for the ultimate prize of E-Ligue 1 winner. But what can we expect from these debut African events? This article aims to answer that question.

The esports boom

Before we get into the specifics, perhaps it’s a good idea to look at why esports has become so big in Africa.
Esports users are at record levels across the continent for several reasons. First, they get to play their favorite games, whether Fortnite, Call of Duty, or indeed FIFA, as professionals, meaning all that practice pays off into something productive.

Second, access to video games consoles is higher than ever. In South Africa, almost two in five adults now own one, according to YouGov research, a statistic that rivals countries like Portugal (40%), Hong Kong (38%), and Ireland (37%). Put simply, the more regular players there are, the deeper the talent pool of esporters there’ll be.

Lastly, the cash prizes on offer can be life changing. While internet windfalls in the past were largely left to games of chance in high roller online casinos or winning an internet lottery, players now have the opportunity to win huge amounts through skill alone: it’s literally in their hands.

Launched in 2022, the E-Ligue tour is FIFA’s contribution to the annual esports calendar. It’s a hybrid event where gamers in different regions face off in qualifiers (including African nations) for the right to appear at the grand finale in France.

Here’s a breakdown of the key details (including prize money) for this year’s E-Ligue 1 tournament.

Location and dates

The second edition tour will pass through five African nations dotted around the continent. These are Senegal, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Morocco, and all these countries will have scoured their cities, towns, and villages for the finest talent they can find.

The combatants will do battle at several selected locations in each country, where they’ll fight for the right to advance to the next stage. These qualifiers will take place in February and will produce two winners to go and represent Africa in the grand finale.

Prize money

The successful players who make it through the national stage will travel to France in April where they’ll compete with international competitors for the 10,000 EUR prize pool.

Competition is sure to be fierce. While there, the African winners will come up with fellow champions from the Middle East, Latin America, and North America.

These will then square off to decide the 2023 champion, with some of the finest FIFA playing the world has to offer.

But it doesn’t stop there! Once this year’s champion is crowned, the winners of each region will be paired against Season One winners, with one tournament to determine the overall champion from the first two editions.

The event, jointly hosted by Freaks 4u Gaming and the French football league, Ligue 1, will provide officials who are responsible for players performing fairly and within key esports rules.

How to apply

If you see yourself as a potential FIFA world champion, then you can apply for future editions of E-Ligue 1 directly via gaming website Battlefy. Only players over the age of 16 are eligible, and those under 18 will need parental authorization to take part.

The competition is sure to be intense, especially in Africa which has one of the fastest growing esports talent pools in the world. But, if you don’t try, you’ll never find out if you have what it takes!

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