For the first time SA gamers are getting a crack at the Fifa eWorld Cup and a R1.5 million prize pool. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images
  • SA gamers are getting the chance to represent South Africa at the Fifa eWorld Cup the first time.
  • 1,024 players, half each on Xbox and PS4, will test their skills at the VS Gaming Cup later this year.
  • Winners at the local tournament will share a R1.5 million prize pool.
  • The winners gets to represent SA globally – where the World Cup has a $200,000 (R2.3 million) first prize.

A deal between local esports platform VS Gaming and the owner of the Fifa game, EA Sport, will give one South African the chance to compete for a place in the eWorld Cup later this year – and win from a prize pool worth R2.3 million.

The Pretoria-based VS this week announced it had secured the rights to host a qualifier for the eWorld Cup.

That means the local VS Gaming Cup this May comes with an attraction beyond its own R1.5 million total prize pool – which has already made it the second-biggest Fifa tournament in the world.

The winners of the local competition will represent South Africa at the Fifa Global Series Playoffs later this year, which will determine the 32 players to ultimately compete in the World Cup.

VS estimates that EA's Fifa has seven million players around South Africa.

The local tournament has places for 1,024 of those players, half on XBox and half on Playstation.

The qualifier gives each of those players a chance at international exposure – if they make it through online qualifiers, hosted before the tournament.

Read: This team of South African gamers moved to Arizona to become esports stars – and they are slaying in American competitions right now

“What's becoming more and more apparent is that the only way to grow esports is for our local stars to compete on the global stage. This qualifier is a great opportunity to do just that,” said Gareth Woods of Good Game Well Played, an esports marketing company based in Cape Town.

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