Domestic rivalry resumes online with launch of the esports Cup

Wed, Mar 18 2020

Shamrock Rovers' Jack Byrne and nine other Premier Division players will play for the chance to be crowned inaugural winners of the esports Cup Credit: Liam Coughlan (ETPhotos)

League of Ireland stars including Jack Byrne, Dano Kelly and Keith Ward have banded together to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis awareness with the launch of the esports Cup.

It has only been a couple of days but already we are missing the League of Ireland. The lack of football is starting to get us down and while we are enjoying marble racing, we want our League of Ireland football hit.

Thankfully League of Ireland footballers, from all the top-flight clubs in Ireland have grouped together to sort that fix.

The esports Cup (#greatestesportstournamentintheworld) kicks off this week with the aim of not just providing football fans with some “on pitch” entertainment but also hoping to raise funds for those affected with cystic fibrosis.

Ten players, one from each Premier Division side, will face off in a novel FIFA20 tournament as we bid to recreate domestic rivalry in an online setting.

The contest features Jack Byrne from Shamrock Rovers, Cameron Saul (Finn Harps), Keith Ward of Bohemians, Sligo Rovers’ Ronan Coughlan, St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder James Doona, Tyreke Wilson of Waterford FC, Darren Cole (Derry City), Dundalk’s Dan Kelly, Daire O’Connor (Cork City) and Jaze Kabia of Shelbourne.

The brainchild of 7F’s head of esports, Trev Keane, and Gareth Penrose from, with support from Liam Carroll from Firstforplayers and Pat Deane of Quorum Sports, the esports tournament will provide some much-needed entertainment for of us as we social distance.

The format is simple. Playing on PS4, the players will be divided into two groups of five. They will play each other once. The table-toppers and runners-up from each group will qualify for the semi-finals with a chance to claim a nice, shiny trophy for the overall winner.

A nightly show will be streamed on with player insights and commentary from Oisín Langan and professional FIFA player Eric Finn.

Speaking on his involvement, Dundalk’s Dano Kelly said: "I have been playing FIFA since I was a kid and nobody will get near me – I’m too good.

“On a more serious note, while it is good to stay competitive, it also is good to be able to help others during this difficult time and I am glad that any money raised from this tournament will go to support Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

“The coronavirus is impacting all our lives but those with Cystic Fibrosis are more susceptible to lung infections, which coupled with the deadly covid19 disease, can be very serious."

The draw will take place on Thursday night with the competition starting next Monday (23rd March).

Donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Ireland charity can be made here.

This tournament is not affiliated with or sponsored by Electronic Arts Inc. or its licensors.