Football fans react on Twitter to BT Sports' shock FIFA 17 announcement

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EA Sports' FIFA games have long been a source for avid football fans and gamers to produce viral content that captures the attention of millions.

YouTube has certainly helped many YouTubers to make successful careers out of videoing themselves playing FIFA over the years. And, to be honest, they haven't had to be very good at the game whatsoever.

Over recent years, FIFA videos have dominated the internet and, despite it seeming like there is only so much entertainment football fans can get from watching someone else play a video game, the interest and demand for such content are showing no signs of slowing.

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Whether it be forfeits with friends, penalty shootouts, best of three matches or vlogging their Ultimate Teams or manager mode careers, FIFA's gamers have not been short of content to capture for fans far and wide.

But while EA's global phenomenon has helped football fans to make money out of filming themselves playing the game and uploading it onto the likes of YouTube, FIFA 17 is set to take things to a whole new level where viewers are concerned.

E-sports are no longer lighthearted affairs - especially when there are life-changing six-figure prizes up for grabs - and clearly, BT Sport are well aware of the high-level interest such tournaments generate, having reached a big landmark deal in the world of gaming.

BT Sport reach landmark agreement

As per the Guardian, BT Sport will, for the first time, broadcast live FIFA 17 matches after winning the rights to broadcast the four remaining EA FIFA Majors in this year’s Ultimate Team Championship Series.

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The events will see the world's best FIFA 17 gamers go head-to-head, competing on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, to reach the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Final in Berlin, which will take place on the weekend of the 21st/22nd May.

BT Sport subscribers will be able to enjoy virtual football on their TV screens from April 8, when the North American regional final in Vancouver takes place, before the Asia-Pacific regional final in Singapore on the 22nd and followed by European regional finals in Madrid.

Huge financial reward at stake

The winner of the event will net an eye-watering sum nearing £130,000 by proving himself to be the best FIFA gamer on the planet, while the runner-up will take away £65,000.

The deal with BT Sport marks a big advancement in the world of e-sports, but the channel's viewers are not entirely convinced by the prospect of gamers playing FIFA being on their TV screens.

However, there is clearly an audience for e-sports, after Sky Sports broadcast the FIFA Interactive World Cup final back in October last year.

“This is yet another example of live innovation from BT Sport. Competitive interactive football gaming is a rapidly growing industry and I’m delighted that BT Sport is now able to showcase it for the first time ever in the UK.” said Simon Green, head of BT Sport.

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