Concluding two full days with over 80 competitors in qualifiers, semifinals and finals, the Israeli FA yesterday announced the country’s first eFootball Gaming National Team.
For the first time in History, FIFA and UEFA will hold official gaming-tournaments based on the popular FIFA and PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) eFootball games, with official National Teams representing their respective countries in these tournaments.
The Israeli FA introduced its eFootball National Team, which will represent Israel in the 2020 Euro Qualifiers and in the FIFA eNations Tournament that is the World-Cup gaming equivalent.
The 6-player team is comprised of 3 FIFA and three PES players. Roy Feldman, Tamir Levy and Nimrod Horowitz are the FIFA players; and Michael Astman, Orel Daniel and Amichi Edri are the PES players.Both teams are coached by Erez Gabai.
The thrilling final stages, which were held at the honour stand of the Ramat Gan Stadium, were attended and followed closely by Israel’s Senior National-Team players Manor Solomon, Eylon Almog and Yoav Gerafi. They were joined by Israeli National Women’s Team Marian Awad and Women’s U19 player Noa Seilmhodzic.
Referee Orel Grinfeld received training from the gaming referees, and became the first in Israel to be qualified for refereeing in both the gaming world and on the pitch.
Erez Gabai, the team’s coach said: “I am very pleased that the IFA has risen to the challenge and joined the world of gaming. Of course I am proud to be the first coach of the team. I believe in the players, and in our ability to become part of the highest tiers in the world of competitive gaming.”
IFA CEO, Rotem Kamer added: “Establishing the team is part of a process of renewal, the joining of the Football Associations under FIFA and EUFA to a world that parallels to that of football on the pitch. There is no competition between these two worlds, but rather one pollinates the other. This coming June, a Euro final tournament will take place on the pitch, and there will also be one taking place on the screens. Both will have millions of viewers. The FA’s gaming team will help us be present as a country, as a Football Association and as a National Team in one more international, competitive arena. There is a young audience that the IFA wants to communicate with, to create for this audience relevant content, to speak with it in a language it understands and loves, and to be present in worlds in which this audience spends quite a lot of its leisure time. We were always told to think differently and step outside of the box, so we listened and we are now gladly stepping into the game console.”