Football fans will again be unable to get their fix of Premier League action this weekend, as the coronavirus lockdown has been extended for at least another three weeks. So, the Premier League have launched an esports version of the competition, with footballers representing their club in the ePremier League Invitational.

The Premier League launched the ePremier League competition for the 2018/19 season,, as some of the best FIFA esports players around the UK competed to represent their favourite club, and then battled it out in a live ePremier League final at the Gfinity Arena. The winner of the inaugural competition was Liverpool, who were represented by Tekkz, one of the best professional FIFA players in the world.

But, the ePremier League has been suspended in the 2019/20 season, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so the Premier League are launching the ePremier League invitational, with professional footballers representing their teams from home instead.

Premier League stars will battle it out in a knockout tournament from the comfort of their own homes to find out who competes in the final, which will feature in a live show on Sky Sports on Saturday 25 April.

Among the players competing in the tournament are Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Todd Cantwell (Norwich City), Ryan Fredericks (West Ham United), Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) and Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

The full line-up will be confirmed ahead of the draw for the tournament, which takes place on Monday 20 April’s edition of The Football Show on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Main Event from 9am.

The prize fund is being donated to the #PlayersTogether initiative, which was created by Premier League players as a collective way of generating funds for the National Health Service and distributing them where they are needed most. The tournament will also continue to urge everyone to follow official advice by staying home and saving lives.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The thoughts of everyone at the Premier League are with all those directly affected by COVID-19.

“In response to the pandemic, the League, our clubs and players are providing valuable support for communities and the NHS.

“We are also aware of the importance of finding new ways to entertain fans at this time and we are excited to bring together a strong line-up of players for the ePremier League Invitational tournament.

“With Sky Sports screening the competition live in the UK and many of our international broadcast partners also showing the matches, fans around the world can tune in and enjoy the action. We know how popular FIFA 20 is with players and I am looking forward to seeing who will be crowned the ePL Invitational champion.”

The opening rounds feature four matches per day between midday and 4pm from Tuesday 21 April to Friday 24 April. The semi-finals and final will be televised live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League at 3pm on Saturday 25 April.

Fans can watch all the action throughout the week on the Premier League website, app, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels; Sky Sports YouTube and Twitch channels as well on the Football Daily YouTube channel. Sky’s coverage will be hosted by Saturday Social’s Adam Smith and Joe Thomlinson who will be joined by influencer Harry Pinero.



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