Electronic Arts, National Football League Beef Up Esports Schedule With Madden NFL 21 Championship Series
Electronic Arts and the National Football League (NFL) announced a new format for the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 21 Championship Series (MCS21) complete with revamped tournament offerings, weekly sports entertainment programming, and a mix of celebrity, athlete, and elite Madden NFL player involvement. Following an increase in engagement and viewership, including the most successful Madden NFL in history with a 30% year-over-year increase in unique players, the announcement supports the shift of EA Competitive Gaming Entertainment (CGE) from a world-class tournament provider to an entertainment powerhouse.
The EA SPORTS Madden NFL 21 Championship Series news comes on the heels of EA SPORTS multi-year partnership renewal with the NFL and NFLPA and Madden NFL claiming the most-aired competitive gaming broadcast on ESPN and ESPN 2 in May. MCS21 will offer something for players and football fans alike, with competitive action and entertainment broadcasts every Tuesday evening throughout the year.
“Our world has drastically changed over the last few months, yet the love of competition and sense of connection that comes through games is stronger than ever,” said Matt Marcou, Madden NFL Commissioner. “This year Madden NFL will add several new formats, beyond our traditional tournament series, to appeal to an even broader audience. We believe that this is the most accessible and engaging competitive gaming content ever for both players and fans alike and is just the beginning of a new era of competitive gaming.”
“The Madden brand continues to provide a tremendous way to connect with NFL fans around the world and especially the younger demographic who are often passionate gamers,” said Rachel Hoagland, Vice President, Head of Gaming & eSports for the NFL. “We are excited about the new format for the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 21 Championship Series which should raise the stakes for competitive play and offer a new level of engagement for players, fans and our partners.”
The programming lineup kicks off on Tuesday, September 15 on the EA SPORTS Madden NFL Twitch and Madden Competitive Gaming YouTube, headlined by Derwin James vs. The World. Over the course of 16 weeks, a different celebrity, musical artist, or athlete will challenge Chargers’ Safety Derwin James, who also doubles as one of the best Madden NFL players in the NFL, in Madden NFL 21 each week. To cap the season, James will take on the winner of this year’s Madden Club Championship.
“Fans got a taste of my skills when I won the Madden NFL 20 Celebrity Tournament back in April, and this time, I’m back to quiet any doubters that I’m the best Madden player in the League,” said Derwin James. “I’m a huge Madden fan and I look forward to showing up every Tuesday to take on new challengers and ultimately test my skills against the season’s best Madden player.”
Also new to Tuesday evening, is King of The Hill. Each week in two respective single elimination tournaments, two NFL athletes will face-off in parallel with two elite Madden NFL competitive players with the winner from each matchup advancing to the next week to meet a new challenger.
The Madden Championship Series has been newly formatted for players with a $1.4 million prize pool, the largest prize pool ever for Madden NFL. Starting with the Madden NFL 21 Club Championship (Nov 10 – Feb 5), competitive players will battle over the course of eight weeks to represent each of the 32 NFL teams. All matches will be played remotely with players joining from home, and the action will join the Tuesday evening broadcast lineup starting in October. Madden NFL will continue to announce additional tournament details throughout the year, revealing new formats and twists.
Any competitor can begin their MCS journey today, with open registration for the Club Championship* live until September 28. All ages and skill levels are welcome to compete for a chance to represent their favorite NFL team. Online qualifications for the Club Championship run September 10-October 11 with the first week of early round play kicking off November 10.
Competition across MCS21 programming will take place in a newly renovated home for competitive Madden NFL as Pizza Hut renews their landmark agreement for the first-ever virtual stadium naming rights in history. In its second season of existence, Pizza Hut Stadium returns with a brand-new look and feel that will also debut in Madden Ultimate Team. Now, the entire Madden NFL community will be able to play in the same setting as the elite players of the Madden NFL 21 Championship Series.
Official Madden NFL 21 Championship Series rules and how to register for the Madden NFL 21 Championship Series can be found at maddenchampionship.com/compete.