FIFA, also often referred to as FIFA Football or FIFA Soccer (depending on where you’re from) is a video-game series that is nothing short of a football simulator. Every year, the developing company Electronic Arts (EA) release a new iteration of the game, forming a long-standing sequence that has been going strong ever since 1993. More specifically, FIFA and other major sports titles such as Madden, NHL, NBA and many others are all managed and branded under the “EA Sports” label that has come to dominate the market for sports-related video games for the past 20 years. Evidently, the rising esports scene that has come as a result of its success has paved the way for FIFA betting to become a viable market for certain bookmakers to pursue.
All in all, the entire FIFA franchise has been translated into over 19 languages and is widely distributed and marketed in over 50 countries all over the world. Every new title in the annual release sequence sell millions of copies. In 2012, the “FIFA 12” game broke the record for the fastest selling sports game in history where it sold over 3,2 million copies within a seven-day period of its release. The latest game released is FIFA 17, which hit the stores on 27th of September in 2016 in NA, and 29th of September for the rest of the world. Overall, this release marks the beginning of a serious esports commitment from EA Sports, as they announced the FIFA 17 championships series. As a result, many bookies now offer FIFA betting on their platforms.
Besides the occasional ESL tournaments and the annual FIWC event, there are no regular on-season games on which you can bet (normally). In other words, the only way to bet on FIFA is to wager on the largest tournaments. In any case, we recommend you to sign up on either Betway (review) or Bet365 (review) as they offer great odds, support, and numerous market variations when these events are broadcast.
FIFA Betting Tips
Keep in mind that FIFA is (mostly) a single-player game, and usually requires you to have a lot of information regarding the player’s current forms, past results and so forth. A great resource to do so is to check out the FIFA Interactive World Cup website here, which contains a great deal of information and statistics to help you maximize your chances. It is also important to keep track of which players prefer which consoles. For example, a game that is played on XBOX rather than PS4 may very well favor an avid XBOX player in a game with both. Some things to look out for before placing your bet includes things such as:
- Current form
- Historical results (vs other and head-to-head)
- Trends (player in a slump or on a streak?)
- Patches (some patches may favor different playstyles)
- Expert opinion (/r/FIFA on Reddit is a great resource)
- Injuries or other handicaps
The FIFA competitive gaming circuit is closed and not open, meaning that EA Sports & FIFA control the pace and direction that FIFA as an esports will take. The largest official tournament is called the “FIFA Interactive World Cup“, or FIWC for short. Every year, the two companies arrange for millions of fans around the world to fight it out to finally be crowned the FIFA world champion. Interestingly enough, the FIWC is one of the largest competitive gaming tournaments in the world. The current world champion is called Spencer Ealing and plays out of England. The prize-pool for winning the FWIC in London amounts to $200.000. Since there is no ongoing season such as the LCS or SPL for League of Legends and SMITE, the only way to engage in FIFA betting is to place bets on events like the FIWC and other events.
The FWIC has a format that is divided into three parts:
- Online qualifications
- Grand finals
- World Rankings
The online qualifications for the FWIC are accessible through the FIFA 17 games on Xbox One and PS4. After a three-season run using the FIFA Ultimate Team, each player with the most points from each region are then automatically qualified for a regional event where they have a chance to proceed to the next round in the ladder.
Next, the grand finals in where 32 players compete in groups of eight, with the top 16 players moving onto the eliminations stage. To make up for any disadvantages/advantages that different players may hold over one another depending on what console type they prefer, the finals are played one time on each console. The grand finals are typically streamed live on both Youtube and Twitch. However, for the first time ever, the FIFA 16 FIWC was broadcast on several TV channels. Channels like Fox and others made the show available in over 100 countries over the globe. The show also included football personalities such as Alexi Lalas as well as esports commentators like Leigh Smith, famous for his ESL appearances in CS:GO. Bookmakers like Bet365, Betway and others provided a FIFA betting solution for the final stages of the tournament, undoubtedly bringing in more attention where fans were able to put their money on the line by allowing people to bet on FIFA.
After the FWIC16, EA Sports & FIFA introduced a world-ranking system that could be used as a foundation for seeding players according to their past performances. The increasing efforts from the main stakeholders all point towards a larger effort to make their titles into mainstream prominent esports titles. If successful, we might soon see a seasonal event that would facilitate FIFA betting on a more day-to-day basis, as opposed to exclusively for major events.
As you can see from the result table below, the tournament attracts players from all over the world, each eager to take home the prize and the title of the best FIFA player.