Virgin Media has been announced as the title partner of the FAI’s Esports programme, including the ELOI which will now be titled the Virgin Media ELOI.

Dundalk FC representative Eric Finn – aka XampL_Xx – who was crowned 2023 ELOI champion at the Aviva Stadium in May, was at the launch at Macken House in Dublin, where he was pictured with Shamrock Rovers captain Roberto Lopes.

The new two-year agreement will provide Virgin Media with title sponsorship of the ELOI, eNational Team and a newly launched EFAI Cup.

The new EFAI Cup will be an exciting two-week online tournament in January which will cumulate in an in-person final four showdown one week after the tournament ends. The tournament will be open to all levels to enter and participants must be over 16 and based in the Republic of Ireland. Registrations will open in December.

The Virgin Media ELOI will run from February to April 2024 and will feature all 20 men’s League of Ireland clubs, competing in a group format with the top two teams progressing to the live Final. The winner of the Virgin Media ELOI will earn a place in the eChampions League Group Stage and a Play-Off place for the FC Pro World Championship.

Competitive gaming and the esports industry have grown exponentially in recent years. The industry has become a global phenomenon with millions of fans participating and consuming esports. There are around two million gamers in Ireland across all spectrums, and it is estimated there are around 700,000 Esports enthusiasts.

The FAI have recognised these developments in esports and has decided to actively shape the efootball landscape here in Ireland. The FAI’s esports programme is established to attract and engage with a younger demographic of football fans and create a new participation and supporter stream through esports.

Mark Scanlon, League of Ireland Director, said: “We’re delighted to announce Virgin Media as title sponsor with the FAI and it is great to have such a well-known and innovative brand as title sponsor of the ELOI.

“The ELOI has a huge role for us to play in the growth of the League of Ireland’s fanbase with the newer generation and last year’s tournament was a great way to kick off the new brand. We’re excited to see where we can take the Virgin Media ELOI along with Virgin Media into 2024.”

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