Two Australians are preparing to represent the country at one of the world’s biggest and longest running eSports tournament while others duke it out to join them.
The FIFA eWorld Cup is an ongoing partnership between soccer’s governing body FIFA and video game publishers EA Sports, who make the FIFA video games that have been a console staple for decades.
The annual tournament has been going since 2004.
Players compete online in different regions to qualify for the grand final, where they have the chance to walk away with a slice of the $US1 million ($A1.29 million) prize pool.
The winner in 2021 will receive $US300,000 ($A386,500).
That prize is part of a larger $US4.5 million ($A5.8 million) total prize pool for the lead-up tournaments and the eWorld Cup.
It might not be as much as the kind of huge salaries given out to real world soccer players in leagues like the EPL, but it’s more than your average A-league player makes in a year, and with all-respect to eAthletes, it’s not as physically taxing either.
Germany’s Mohammed Harkous is fighting to defend his title as the reigning champion, but he’ll be faced with some stiff competition on the sticks.
Who he’ll be up against is still to be decided: The FIFA 21 Global Series that decides who qualifies for the eWorld Cup is ongoing, with two qualifiers from the Oceania region already determined.
Here’s who will be flying the Aussie flag (so far).
NEGEDE ABENEZER HUNEGNAW
Mr Hunegnaw took out the first Oceanic qualifiers in January.
He reps the Perth-based Ground Zero gaming team which competes across a variety of games including CS: GO, Rocket League, Overwatch, and of course FIFA.
Mr Gomes qualified in the second round over the Valentine’s Day weekend in February, his fifth attempt.
“I’ve come so close too many times, losing final after final, but now, I have a title to show for my grind,” the Melbourne City Pro FIFA player said on Twitter.
One more Oceania qualifier is still to be crowned.
On March 13 and 14, the third qualifying event will be held, streamed online.
We’ll find out then who will be joining Mr Hunegnaw and Mr Gomes in representing Australia.