United City FC set to represent PH in Southeast Asia's first efootball tourney

Photo release

Philippine champion United City FC will battle it out against the top clubs in Southeast Asia in the Champions eFootball (CeF), the first regional esports football tournament slated on September 9 to October 7.

The efootball division of the three-time Philippines Football League titlist will take on seven other teams in the five-week online tilt that will stake a prize pool of $9,000 (over P450,000).

Vying for the crown and the lion's share of the prize fund are Thailand's Buriram United FC and Chonburi FC, Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta’zim FC, Singapore's Tampines Rovers FC, Indonesia's Persib Bandung, Cambodia's Nagaworld FC and Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City FC.

"Esports is a fast-growing and popular sport in the Philippines and we have been thinking of how to engage ourselves with esports. This is the perfect event for us to start an esports program especially with the big names in this region," said Eric Gottschalk, president of United City.

Backed by the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF), the CeF will be played using KONAMI’s eFootball PES 2021 via Playstation 4 and divided into two categories: the Elite and Star.

The Elite category will feature professional esports players while the entertainment-centered Star classification will highlight renowned footballers across the region.

"Our vision for Champions eFootball is to provide a platform for some of the best football clubs in the world to compete at a high level while attracting younger audiences and esports enthusiasts from across the region," said Yong-Chul Yun, CEO of CeF.

The CeF is already planning to work with various football leagues in Southeast Asia to organize a local championship for qualification into the competition.

Additionally, the winners of CeF are expected to go up against European football clubs in a similar competition in the future.