The ePremier League has become a staple of the esports calendar, offering players and fans alike the opportunity to showcase their skills in one of the world’s most popular video games, FIFA. The 2023 edition of the competition was no exception, with some of the UK’s top FIFA players battling it out for a chance to be crowned ePremier League champion.
The tournament was open to all UK residents aged 16 and above, and the competition was fierce from the outset. Players had to qualify for the tournament through online qualifiers, and the best 40 players went to represent the 20 Premier League clubs advancing to the live finals in London.
Over two days, the competition was played on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S with FIFA 23 Ultimate Team Friendly Seasons mode as the default game mode. Each of the 20 clubs were represented by 2 players, one for each console. The aggregate score obtained by each player determined the winners of the 1v1 encounter so players had to play collaboratively as a team.
The clubs were divided into four groups of five teams and the two clubs in each group with the most points at the end of the group stage qualified for the knockout round. Clubs received three points for each match won, one point for each draw, and no points where a game was lost.
The Groups are drawn.
💰 £100,000 on the line
🗓️ SAT | 12:00 UK & SUN | 15:00 UK
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— EA FIFA esports (@EAFIFAesports) March 23, 2023
The eight qualifying clubs for the knockout round were seeded according to their finishing position in each group. Clubs played against each other, with the winner of each match progressing to the next round until there is a single team remaining.
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How the Tournament Played Out
The tournament featured well known pro players such as Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt (Liverpool), Tom Leese (Tottenham) and the reigning champion Jack ‘GoalPoacher’ Wignall.
In Group A we saw Aston Villa and Crystal Palace finishing on top while in Group B, Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers secured the first two positions of the group. West Ham United and Leeds United conquered Group C while Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur booked their tickets to the knockout round in Group D.
With three former finalists among the eight teams to advance to the quarter-finals after a frenetic Day 1 at the Here East Studios, the drama only intensified on Day 2, when both players’ results on Xbox and PlayStation went towards an aggregate score to determine the winners of each clash. Spurs survived a rollercoaster in their last-eight tie with Aston Villa as 2020 champion Tom Leese recovered from 2-0 down in the second half of his PlayStation leg against Conkai to win 3-2, after a 1- 1 draw in the first leg.
An extra-time winner for West Ham against Wolves set up a semi-final London derby meeting of ePL legends. Spurs’ Leese beat defending champion GoalPoacher 5-2 in the match-up of former champions, before Gorilla eased past Dan Wright 2-0. All eyes then turned to the bottom half of the bracket, with Livepool and Leeds – two of the tournament favourites – drawn against one another after both impressing in the group stage.
With a semi-final place in the balance the action came down to the final seconds of the tie, Leeds’ Stokes heading home from a corner in stoppage time to beat Diogo 4-2 after Tekkz, the inaugural ePL champion, had posted a 1-0 win over Ollelito in the first leg. Crystal Palace also overturned a first-leg deficit to beat ePL debutants Nottingham Forest, EthxnH downing RSD 3-1 after RedLac had put Forest in front with a 3-2 win.
But in the semi-finals it was Ollelito’s turn to hit back in the second leg, firing Leeds into the final with a 4-0 victory that overturned EthxnH’s 3-1 victory against Stokes in the first leg. Both Spurs and Leeds were chasing their first ePL title in the final, but with plenty of experience in the ranks. Leese was crowned champion representing Watford in 2020, while Ollelito had lost out to Shellzz of Man City in the 2021 final.
Both Gorilla and Stokes were also playing at their fourth successive ePL finals. Ollelito picked up where he left off in the semis against Gorilla, romping to a 3-0 victory, to leave Stokes in charge heading into the final match of the weekend against Leese. This time it proved one comeback too many for the Spurs man, who was briefly 1-0 up before Stokes equalised to secure a 1-1 draw and a 4-1 aggregate victory that saw Leeds crowned ePL champions.
Following their impressive display against Spurs, Leeds United’s Ollelito and Stokes took home the 2023 ePremier League title and a big chunk of the £100,000 prize pool. Ollelito and Stokes secured a share of the £30,000 winners’ prize, with Spurs’ Leese and Spencer ‘Gorilla’ Ealing splitting the finalists’ £15,000 reward. Both duos also earned berths into the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs and Play–ins by reaching the ePL Grand Final.
“It’s a team game,” Ollelito said. “Tom carried us in the quarter–finals against Liverpool, which was every bit as important as the final if you want to win. “I think I played my best FIFA in the semis and final, where we needed to, so I’m super–proud of myself, Tom, and my coach here.”
“It’s incredible,” Stokes added. “This is the pinnacle of the UK scene – it’s the one everyone wants to win. There’s the pride, the reward of getting into the [FIFA Global Series] Playoffs, the prize money, the exposure – it’s a really good feeling.”
Your #ePremierLeague 2023 CHAMPIONS!
🎟️ Playoffs spots secured
Congratulations to @LUFC 🙌 pic.twitter.com/1TkPHrNfzs
— EA FIFA esports (@EAFIFAesports) March 26, 2023
This year’s tournament and ePremier League 2023 finals were televised and streamed in the UK by Sky Sports, as well as being shown across Premier League digital channels and on the EASportsFIFA Twitch and Youtube channels. Viewers were also able to get rewards and FGS Swap Tokens in FUT by following the competition and their favourites on Twitch.