The renown Japanese video game company Konami and the Japanese professional football league, more commonly known as the J. League, have announced a partnership to launch a tournament for the mobile version of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2019.
According to the Japan Times, the 40 clubs in J .League’s top two tiers will select three players each to compete in a two-day tournament that will take place from July 14 to 15.
Qualifiers will open on March 22 to decide which players will be representing each J. League club.
“Esports is enjoyed by people of different generations, gender and whether they have disabilities or not. It is a useful way to spread the attractions of soccer,” J. League chairman Mitsuru Murai said in a news conference in Tokyo.
PES is Konami’s trademark football simulation game and is one of the most popular games in Japan, even beating out the much more internationally popular FIFA series. The game’s mobile version has been downloaded more than 150 million times worldwide.
PES is also known in Japan as ‘Winning Eleven’ and was even among the titles featured when esports were installed as a demonstration event in the 2018 Asian Games.