La Liga Soccer League Turns to FIFA Due to Coronavirus
Spain’s La Liga has shut down, thanks to the coronavirus, but that’s probably not much of a shock. However, the competitive action soccer fans have come to expect isn’t over. La Liga has turned to FIFA and esports to bring a tournament to life.
Futbol is Alive and Well (Online)
All major European soccer leagues are on hold right now. However, one of Spain’s leading esports personalities is going to bring a tournament around. This virtual tournament will feature a player from each club playing FIFA 20.
Last Sunday, a virtual Seville derby was held on FIFA 20 between Sevilla defender Sergio Reguilon and Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias. More than 62,000 people watched it on Ibai Llanos’ Twitch channel. That turnout made him want to test the waters a bit further.
Llanos is considered Spain’s best-known esports commentator. He asked his Twitter fanbase whether they’d want to see him host a FIFA tournament with a player from each of the La Liga clubs representing their squad.
A huge response came in, not just from the fans of La Liga soccer but the footballers too were eager. A player from each club will participate with Sergi Roberto of Barcelona, Atletico’s Marcos Llorente and Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler among the first to sign up. Real Madrid had pretty steep competition on who would represent them in-game. Thibaut Courtois, Dani Carvajal, and Marco Asensio hosted a playoff online, with Asensio winning the right to represent Real Madrid.
“I just tweeted it without really having anything in mind,” Llanos told El Pais newspaper. “There were no agreements with anyone: businesses or clubs.” Llanos spoke a bit more about FIFA and the reception. “I was taken aback with how it was received,” he said. “In an hour over half the teams had signed up. I was just hoping for 12 or maybe 14. Footballers play FIFA much more now. They always want to win, they have that competitive gene. They know this (tournament) is going to mean a lot, their fans will be watching and they won’t want to lose.”
This tournament will take place on Llano’s Twitch channel across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Llanos also said he’ll donate all the money that the stream generates. That’s the kind of thing you love to see. He said it’s a chance to do something nice and help medical personnel in this time of trouble. We also have a full list of participants below.
Full list of participants from each club: Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Sergio Reguilon (Sevilla), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Jason (Getafe), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Soler (Valencia), Manu Morlanes (Villarreal), Jose Antonio Martinez (Granada), Gorka Guruzeta (Athletic Bilbao), Ruben Garcia (Osasuna), Carlos Clerc (Levante), Lucas Perez (Alaves), Pedro Porro (Valladolid), Edu Exposito (Eibar), Kevin Vazquez (Celta Vigo), Alejandro Pozo (Mallorca), Aitor Ruibal (Leganes), Adri Embarba (Espanyol).