Celebrating the passion behind football (soccer) and gaming communities, Coca-Cola recently announced the global launch of eCOPA Coca-Cola – a global EA SPORTS FIFA 18 tournament celebrating the spirit of competition within the world’s most popular sports videogame.

An official EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series qualifier, eCOPA Coca-Cola will help EA bring competitive FIFA to millions of fans around the world through the “The Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018” in August 2018. 

Open to all football and gaming fans free of charge, the qualifying tournament lowers the barrier of entry for players to participate in a collective football experience and to compete against the best in the world.  

This global competition kicked off this fall in France, where local players will compete in one-on-one matchups. By April 2018, 24 French players will compete in the national finals in the first-ever eCOPA Coca-Cola French Championship.

Denmark and Norway have launched local tournaments, too, and other markets will soon follow suit, with each national eCOPA Coca-Cola winner competing during the Champions final, from which the best player will qualify for the FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs.

This model of competition was previously piloted among college students in the United States, when Coke eSports partnered with EA SPORTS to create the first-ever eCOPA Coca-Cola tournament, bringing the name of the grassroots and on the field Copa Coca-Cola football program to the gaming world.

“We have always looked to creating meaningful connections with our consumers around their passions,” explains Alban Dechelotte, Coca-Cola’s senior entertainment marketing manager. “Football and gaming are two passions for which Coca-Cola has been uplifting fans’ experiences for many years. Football is part of the Coke’s DNA – part of how we connect with people."

Brad Ross, Coca-Cola’s director of global football, adds, “Fans express their passion for football playing on field, attending in stadiums and watching on TV. This passion with the new generation has evolved into a fourth dimension ­–­ playing EA SPORTS FIFA.”

A sponsor of football for more than 100 years, Coca-Cola has worked with EA SPORTS for the past two decades to craft gaming experiences that bring people together both virtually and off the screen.

“We are very excited to be working with Coca-Cola within the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series," said Brent Koning, EA Sports FIFA competitive gaming commissioner. "This tournament will bring out the best of competition and will be an amazing way for fans to show their passion for FIFA and the sport of football.”