J1 League launches PES esports competition

J1 League launches PES esports competition
The J1 League, Japan’s top flight of domestic soccer, has announced the launch a new esports league in collaboration with Konami, the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series developers.

Using the mobile version of the soccer simulation game online qualifiers featuring three players from each of the 40 clubs in Japan’s top two divisions will take place later in March, with finalists progressing to a two-day competition in July.

A console version of PES, which is known as Winning Eleven in Japan, formed part of the esports demonstration program at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta.

“Esports is enjoyed by people of different generations, gender and whether they have disabilities or not,” J1 League chairman Mitsuru Murai told local reporters. “It is a useful way to spread the attractions of soccer.”

The J1 League venture is far from Konami’s first esports collaboration in soccer, the PES title is currently being used in the eFootball.Pro league founded by Barcelona player Gerard Piqué and owned by Esports Media Rights.

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