Cape Town — Mamelodi Sundowns have cast their net far and wide in a bid to find South Africa's best gamers for the FIFA 23 championship.
Instead of confining their search to their region, Sundowns will convene competitions in Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The regional winners will be invited to the Top 8 tournament which will be held at the rAge Expo at Gallagher Convention Centre from 9-11 December.
The Mamelodi Sundowns FIFA23 Championship is finally off the ground! ⚽🔥
Thank you Masandawana for the thrilling experience in the world of gaming & eSports! Here’s a recap of the V&A Waterfront qualifiers this past weekend: https://t.co/SfoLzWpxcm#Sundowns #FIFA23 #MAMS pic.twitter.com/w8cmoywVaM
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) November 22, 2022
Sundowns, the most successful club in the PSL era, are the only African club on the FIFA 23 roster. Sundowns have joined forces with the Sandton-based Mettlestate, an Esports tournament organiser and gaming content creation hub.
There will be four live qualifiers taking place in malls across SA, as well as an online qualifier for those who can’t make the live events. The top player from each live qualifier and the top four players from the online qualifiers will participate in the Top 8 finale.
The finalists will be flown out to the Top 8 tournament next month.
Sundowns chairperson Tlhopie Motsepe hopes that the launch of the competition will bring excitement to the esports participants.
"Many of the people in our football club are fans of the Fifa series and are aware of the passion that South African gamers have towards the video game," said Motsepe.
"That is one of the reasons that the moment Mamelodi Sundowns was announced as the latest African team to be included in Fifa 23, we knew that we had to give our supporters and fans of the game a chance to celebrate with us.
“We hope this kick-starts local excitement around football, while giving gamers and lovers of the Fifa series the chance to play in a competition that was made especially for them.
"This is our first project in the esports industry, and we are excited to see where this leads us.
Mettlestate’s managing director Barry Louzada is impressed by the dedication Sundowns is showing to esports.
“Traditional sports and esports overlap in more ways than most people realise. Fifa 23 is the perfect example of this," said Louzada.
"We are ecstatic to see Mamelodi Sundowns being represented in this popular international title. The club is going above and beyond — they are actively supporting and encouraging esports."
The addition of Sundowns to Fifa 23 furthers the team’s ever-growing global appeal and opens them up to a whole new fan base.
The club have never lost sight of their family-rooted origins, focusing on entertaining their audience and providing them with new ways to celebrate being a Sundowns fan.
The rAge Expo is one of the biggest gaming events of the year and will be going live for the first time in two years due to Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown.