The ePremier League 2020/21 online finals gets underway on Tuesday, March 23 and Chelsea’s Xbox console representative Diogo Mendes and PlayStation star Kyle Hammond are aiming to win the ePL title for the first time.
While the duo will both hope for glory there will be extra eyes on how Diogo in particular performs, with Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta having a personal investment in the gamer.
Mendes, who is signed to Cesar Azpilicueta’s Falcons eSports team, believes he has made the correct preparations to win the gaming version of a title his boss has twice won as a player.
‘I’m excited,’ Mendes said. ‘It’s a big competition in the UK but also in the FIFA scene because it is one of the main leagues.
‘It’s a different tournament going into it and last time I played in the ePremier League it went very well so I’m expecting to go as well or even better. You always want to be a better version of yourself.
Mendes is seen as one of the favourites for the Xbox competition and will be seeded third out of 20 opponents from each Premier League club. The Portuguese gamer was fingertips away from the title last season when he lost in extra-time in the 2019 ePremier League final.
The ePL 2020/21 online finals will consist of three tournament stages: a double-elimination group stage featuring 20 players per console, a single-elimination playoff bracket with the top eight players per console from the group stage, and the cross-console final which pits the top player from each platform against each other for the ultimate honour of ePL Champion.
Chelsea captain and Falcons eSports boss Azpilicueta will also be keeping a close eye on the proceedings and he believes Mendes has what it takes to win the whole competition.
‘It would mean a lot because he deserves it and has been working hard very hard and he is improving every day,’ Cesar remarked. ‘All the effort and the work he is doing behind the scenes I think it’s important to get the rewards.
‘It’s not going to be easy but I’m sure he’ll give everything for us and Chelsea because that’s the club he is going to represent in the ePremier League as a captain.’
The ePL Finals are being hosted from the Gfinity Arena in London, with all gameplay taking place remotely. Blues fans in the UK can watch Mendes compete on Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online.