Monday March 04, 2024

Real Madrid crowned champions of La Liga playstation tournament

March 25, 2020

MADRID: La Liga’s players swapped boots for controllers and Real Madrid still won as Spanish football tried to fill the void of an empty fixture list with a FIFA playstation tournament last weekend.

Marco Asensio, who has been out with a ruptured cruciate ligament since July last year, pressed the right buttons to give Madrid one of their less prestigious titles after a 4-2 win over Leganes representative Aitor Ruibal in Sunday’s final.

The tournament raised around 180,000 euros ($193,000) for UNICEF and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, while the final gained almost 170,000 viewers on Twitch, the live streaming platform used by gamers.

With professional football in Spain suspended until further notice to limit the spread of the virus, clubs and players have had to be more creative. And the Spanish media were quick to capitalise on any sniff of competition as Marca devoted more than 25 articles to the virtual tournament while three of Spain’s leading commentators provided live commentary.

There was even controversy as Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto and Real Mallorca’s Alejandro Pozo had to withdraw, given both clubs are sponsored by Konami, the creators of FIFA’s rival, Pro Evolution Soccer.

Iglesias had a hand in the idea for the tournament too after he had played the postponed Seville derby between Real Betis and Sevilla by facing off on FIFA against Sevilla’s Sergio Reguilon. But the project was pushed through by Ibai Llanos, Spain’s most famous esports commentator.