Over 20% of England's colleges to compete in FIFA 21 esports cup united kingdom feature image

Over 20% of colleges in England will be duking it out in the upcoming AoC Sport FIFA 21 Cup. Both the British Esports Association and the AoC Sport organization have partnered to make the upcoming FIFA 21 event possible.

Across England, 52 colleges will compete on a weekly basis between March and May. While 41 teams will be battling it out on the Xbox One version of the tournament, 38 teams will also play on PlayStation 4.

Colleges across the U.K. that will be competing in the AoC Sport FIFA 21 Cup. Map provided by the British Esports Association and AoC Sport.

The AoC Sport FIFA 21 Cup event will consist of teams of three on both consoles. These school teams will compete at a national level. Each match will be 12 minutes long, occurring every week in the group stage and playoffs.

Staff members will be responsible for each post-secondary esports team. However, the schools are encouraged to choose a student who will be the leader of their own team, to arrange matches with opponents and keep track of the scores.

Each college will participate in three rounds, with nine overall games each week. According to the handbook provided by the British Esports Association, all FIFA 21 players will play three 1v1 games per fixture.

FIFA 21 British Esports Association
An example of the AoC Sport FIFA 21 Cup format. Image provided by the British Esports Association and AoC Sport.

A nationwide effort

Dean Hardman, the director of sport and student experience at AoC, said that it’s fantastic to be working with the British Esports Association in terms of increasing competitive opportunities for college students across the country.

He referred back to the inaugural AoC Sport FIFA 20 College Lockdown Championships too, which allowed “hundreds of young people to compete and enjoy the many benefits esports can offer.”

Hardman noted the important role that esports played amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as well.

“At a time when students are not able to develop skills through playing sport physically, esport competitions can have a vital role in enhancing the same attributes such as teamwork, communication and sportsmanship,” he said in a press release.

Alice Leaman, the schools and colleges liaison officer at the British Esports Association, agreed.

“We are excited to once again be able to work with AoC Sport to provide further opportunities for students during lockdown to get involved in esports, join an online community, and to represent their college during this difficult time,” she said. “Following the huge success of the AoC Sport FIFA tournament last year, we hope to see many new, and returning, colleges discovering esports and the skills involved.”

Last year, Hills Road Sixth Form College and Priestley College, took home the gold in the AoC Sport FIFA 20 College Lockdown Championships.

Amy Chen
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!