Football West’s launches gaming platform

Football West has launched its own specialist gaming platform as it joins the $100 billion e-sport phenomenon.

Switch On Sport has been established at a time grassroots football across Australia is currently on hold.

Within days of the suspension in mid-March Football West kicked off its inaugural FIFA 20 E-Series. A second tournament quickly followed, along with Football West supporting the establishment of other competitions across Australia.

The two competitions have proved hugely popular, with a combined total of around 1,000 games. This success has led to Football West setting up Switch On Sport.

The dedicated e-sport platform will not only host future Football West E-Series tournaments – Season 3 got under way this week – but it will also be a host platform for external competitions. These will include the Inter Varsity FIFA 20 Tournament between WA’s universities which involves hundreds of players and commences later this month.

The launch of Switch On Sport will have multiple benefits for Football West. First is the ability to commercialise its expansions into e-sport through pay-to-play tournaments and commercial partnerships in order to increase investment into community football.

The new website will also connect gamers with the mainstream football community, bringing in increased registrations through games such as FIFA 20, Rocket League and Futsal.

Football West will also be working with clubs to create environments that can attract gamers to their local clubs and try their skills on the pitch, some for the first time.

Football West CEO James Curtis said: “This is a really exciting development. E-sports is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with around 150 million players worldwide.

“Football West‘s ability to run traditional competitions and our fixturing expertise is appealing to outside groups and clubs who seek somewhere to host their tournaments. This is where Switch On Sport comes in.

“We have been pleased with how the E-Series has been received, although not surprised. FIFA 20 is arguably the most successful sports video game franchise ever and naturally has mass appeal in the football community.

“The other forms of football such as Rocket League is also massive and a natural fit with our audience.

“This is also about engagement, especially in these times of greater isolation. The mental health aspect of people staying connected cannot be underestimated.

“Our focus has always been to make sure the game is accessible to all, so we hope that through offering new products, we can bring new members to local clubs across Western Australia.”