Egaming Euro 2020
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UEFA eEuro 2021 is the world’s biggest national team e-football competition which involves all 55 UEFA national associations and takes place exclusively on KONAMI’s eFootball PES 2021 Season Update on the Playstation 4.
What is it?
This is the second edition of the tournament with last year’s tournament drawing more than 10,000 participant gamers with Italy taking the title.
The tournament is made up of three phases – the player selection phase, a qualifying phase and then the finals phase which takes place later this year.
The player selection phase took place between November last year and February this year and involved associations choosing their teams of two to four players through tournaments unless they already have a national Esports team. The next stage, the qualifying phase, begins on 15th March.
How does qualifying work?
Now that all 55 national associations have selected their two to four players to represent them at the UEFA eURO 2021, they will compete in the qualifying phase to determine which 16 associations make the finals stage of the competition.
In early February the qualifying draw took place and all nations were randomly drawn into five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams. These sides then play two matches each (1v1) against the other nations in their group with points from both of those matches contributing to the final standings. After having played in this round-robin format, the ten group winners then progress to the competition’s finals phase.
The ten teams who finish second in each group are then drawn into two new groups of five, with the top three from each of those sections also moving into the finals. Gibraltar have subsequently withdrawn from the qualifying round. The four match days are 15th March, 29th March, 12th April and 26th April.
Group A: Spain, Finland, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Estonia
Group B: Germany, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia
Group C: Croatia, Turkey, Sweden, San Marino, Cyprus
Group D: Austria, Montenegro, Slovenia, Kosovo, Andorra
Group E: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Armenia, Malta
Group F: Israel, Lithuania, Belgium, Faroe Islands, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland
Group G: Romania, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar (subsequently withdrew)
Group H: Italy, Portugal, Moldova, England, Iceland, Northern Ireland
When do the finals take place?
The finals phase sees the 16 remaining teams divided into four groups of four. The top two in each section then advance to the knockout stage, starting with the quarter-finals. The matches are in a best-of-three format until the final, which is a best-of-five encounter.
The group draw for the finals will take place around May or June this year. The final itself will then take place on the 9th/10th July in London, England before the final of the real European Championships.
What are the rules?
UEFA have laid out the tournament’s required match settings in their rule guide. It states that matches must be set to Super Star level, the match length must be ten minutes and both extra time and penalties are on.
Injuries, however, will be off, the weather is summer and the game speed, length of grass and pitch conditions are all set to normal. Players must also ensure they play with their national team (e.g the Italian efootball side must select the Italy national team) and balanced stats will be set to off.
Three substitutions are allowed per team per game as standard with an additional one per team allowed in extra time, control is set to all and the ball type used is REGISTA.
Any settings which have not been laid out by UEFA in their guidelines can be set by the individual player to their preferred state, for example the passing assistance level.
Matches cannot be rescheduled from the times allocated and players have 15 minutes to show up for a match – not showing up within this time frame will result in a default defeat.
As per the UEFA rulebook for the tournament, should a disconnect occur before the match has finished, the match should be immediately recreated and completed as if the disconnect did not happen. For example, if the game was disconnected in the 65th minute, then 25 minutes would still need to be played – players would then need to add together goals scored from both games to get the overall match result.
What is the prize money?
The prize money of ?100,000 will be split between all the finalists and the winners will also receive tickets to the final of Euro 2020.
Teams to look out for
Italy won the first ever UEFA eEuro last year, beating Serbia 3-1 in the best-of-five final, and they are a side to keep an eye on.
They also knocked out France and Israel in the previous knockout rounds and comprised four gamers – AlonsoGrayfox, Naples17x, Nicaldan and Genoa_Npk02, who lost only one match between them during the 2020 tournament’s qualifying phase.
Speaking after that win last year, AlonsoGrayfox said: “It’s incredible – I still cannot believe we did it – it’s a dream.”
Serbia had actually taken the lead in the first game of that final and levelled the overall tally when Kepa_PFC recorded a victory for them but they ultimately fell short. They are nonetheless another side to keep an eye on while the likes of Romania and France, who made the semi-finals of the inaugural edition of the tournament back in 2020, will also be eager to make an impact.
Other teams who made the finals of the 2020 tournament include the Netherlands, Spain, Israel and Croatia.
Meanwhile, it will be a family affair for Norway, whose team comprises brothers Bjørn and Eirik Kronstad – also known as Bearkr87 and Rosicky_NOR92 – and Haris Bhutta, whose tag is Capo1867. Bjorn represented his national side last year but this will be brother Eirik’s first involvement. The siblings played plenty of PES together when they were younger.
Where can you watch?
Punters are expected to be able to watch the action at the UEFA eEuro 2021 on UEFA’s official Youtube channel.