By Jordan Hiatt/NPSL.com
Competitive gaming has skyrocketed in popularity over the course of the last few years, especially in the format of 11v11 competition. In partnership with Virtual Pro Gaming (VPG), a leader in online gaming that specializes in leagues and tournaments for soccer, the National Premier Soccer League is excited to participate in the emerging world of 11v11 esports.
“11v11 is growing massively around the world, due to it being a team play esport mode,” VPG CEO Arron Dellosa said. “Working with up to 10 other players on your team at the same time, it’s what football is about. It’s more appealing than 1v1 because it brings the excitement to the game that there are 22 players on the pitch at the same time.”
Since the start of VPG, popularity of the 11v11 format has increased rapidly.
“There are a lot of passionate American 11v11 players who have been wanting this for a while, and it will continue to grow as more players and teams will want to get involved,” Dellosa said.
There are currently over 10,000 teams on the VPG platform and they are supported by roughly 500 staff admins from around the world.
Dellosa stated that linking up with official teams is very important to the 11v11 market.
“Clubs use it as part of their digital strategy and community and fan involvement which helps bring in a new demographic to the club,” Dellosa said.
EA tends to focus on the 1v1 format because that is where they generate their income. With EA not helping to push 11v11, bringing in official clubs helps to push and expand the market for competitive 11v11.
“It has provided an additional channel to socialize our brand,” Ozark FC owner Todd Carrigan said. “Connecting with a base of people we may otherwise not have been able to connect with. In the absence of physical soccer, the eNPSL has allowed us to produce content to be shared with our community.”
Carrigan went on to say that he is excited about the future of the eNPSL.
“We are excited to continue expanding our brand in new ways with full weight of the NPSL and to be a part of the continued growth of competitive esports,” Carrigan added.
The NPSL is the first official league in the U.S. to enter the world of professional 11v11 esports, and by partnering with VPG the eNPSL is helping to lay the groundwork for the professional 11v11 esports scene.
“The eNPSL is very important to VPG as they are the first official league to enter this space, and we have seen many people wanting to join,” Dellosa said. “It will continue to grow and grow. Long-term, we would like to have many divisions in the eNPSL with thousands of players competing every match day. Sponsors for the leagues, cash prizes, and broadcasted games to media partner channels.”
Being a player for a real-world soccer club offers advantages over being a player for a team that is not official.
“Playing for the official teams gives that player a chance to get recognized and make a name for himself,” Dellosa said. “Also, most of the official teams broadcast the matches to official channels and get noticed by many fans watching live.”
Simply put, being a part of an official organization offers more opportunities for exposure and individual growth.
The future of the 11v11 format through VPG is bright, and the eNPSL is excited to be a part of the excellence that comes with 11v11 esports. With the aim to push the 11v11 format around the world and onto television, VPG is excited to bring many more official leagues into this space.
“11v11 has a big future,” Dellosa said. “I see events in many stadiums all around the world.”