Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio has missed all of this season with a serious knee injury, but the time away from the pitch paid unexpected dividends on Sunday when he was crowned champion of La Liga’s FIFA 20 video game tournament.
With Spanish soccer on hold along with most live sports while the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, players traded the pitch for Playstation in an online tournament organized by e-sports commentator Ibai Llanos and endorsed by La Liga.
More than 170,000 people watched Asensio, playing for Real Madrid, beat Aitor Ruibal of CD Leganes 4-1 in the final, the culmination of a weekend of action involving 18 La Liga sides.
Photo: Eric Bolte-USA Today
Barcelona and RCD Mallorca could not take part in the tournament as they are sponsored by Konami, the creators of FIFA 20’s main competitor, Pro Evolution Soccer.
The tournament, which was also broadcast on Spanish television, raised more than 140,000 euros (US$150,000) to fight the coronavirus, which has claimed over 14,700 lives worldwide and more than 1,770 in Spain.
The tournament built on the success of the previous weekend’s FIFA 20 version of the Seville derby between Borja Iglesias of Real Betis Balompie and Sevilla’s Sergio Reguilon, also organized by Llanos to fill the void left by the derby, which had been postponed.
The Spanish sports media enthusiastically covered the online tournament, with leading newspapers Marca and AS broadcasting the matches on their Web sites, as well as publishing match reports and live blogs of the games.
La Liga commentator Miguel Angel Roman joined Llanos in presenting the matches, while players gave interviews afterward in another move to replicate the feel of a real match.
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