YFL eyeing esports tourney during lockdown

The YFL is set to venture into esports. YFL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--With the resumption of football practices only limited to PFL teams, the Youth Football League is now looking at a possibility of holding an esports event so that the kids can still play "the beautiful game" online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a talk during the Usapang Sports online forum by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports on Thursday, YFL president Mike Atayde said that the league is already considering to commence with the said tourney.

"Tinitignan namin ngayon yung option ng e-games. We can still have a lot of teams participating in an online league type tournament," Atayde said of the proposed esports event, which he looks to start in August.

He then said that he wants to emulate the success of the inaugural FIBA Esports Open, where teams from 17 countries engaged in a three-day event playing NBA 2K20.

"We are tapping the same people who have done it to help us," Atayde continued.

A chance to learn

Atayde sees the esports tournament as a means for the kids to learn more about football in a virtual setting, which they can try when the face-to-face training in the grassroots and youth levels resumes.

"If you have the chance to watch even a FIFA e-game match, especially the championship, you will be amazed to see how technical it is," he said.

Once fully organized, the YFL esports tournament will be played in Electronic Arts' FIFA 20, which Atayde prefers over other football-themed esports titles.

"Highly technical siya. Natututo yung mga bata ng strategies, setting of plays, choosing of players. They learn all the aspects of the sport," he quipped. "It's quite an education tool for the kids.

Atayde also sees this event as an opportunity for youngsters who have been playing sloppy in the real game but are actually doing great in esports to showcase that they too belong.

"Pagdating sa electronic, patas lahat," he further said.

While the players in the real YFL game can join, Atayde said there will be a separate registration for those who will indeed play in the esports tourney.

"We will allow to have two players per team, but they have to alternate playing home and away," Atayde said about the composition.

There will be three age groups in the event, the under-12, under-17, and the 18 and above divisions.

He then said that he is expecting 192 participants in the inaugural staging.

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