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BT Sport is about to start showing live games of FIFA 17

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Hello and welcome to 2017, soon you will be able to watch people play FIFA live on the same channel that shows all the Champions League fixtures.

BT Sport are bringing virtual football to our TV screens for the first time ever – and remember it’s a subscription service, so you’ll have to pay to watch it.

Competitive online gaming has been growing and growing as an industry, with clubs such as Manchester City and West Ham signing eSports FIFA players to their books last year.

Kieran Brown

Kieran Brown, Manchester City's professional FIFA player

And now BT Sport have gone a step further – they will broadcast games from the remaining four EA FIFA Majors in the Ultimate Team Championship series live on their channels.

Those four tournaments are the North American regional final in Vancouver on 8 April, then the  Asia-Pacific regional final in Singapore on 22 April, the European regional final in Madrid on 6 and the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Final in Berlin on 20 and 21 May.

There will be big prize money involved too. The overall winner of the series will win around £130,000, with the runner-up getting around £65,000. That’s pretty damn good for playing a game.

Sean 'Dragonn' Allen

West Ham's FIFA player Sean 'Dragonn' Allen

The FIFA Ultimate Team Championship series is essentially a way for EA Sports to pit the world’s very best players against each other on both PS4 and Xbox One using the Ultimate Team feature, in which players must build their own squads from scratch.

On announcing the new TV deal, the head of BT Sport Simon Green said: “This is yet another example of live innovation from BT Sport. Competitive interactive football gaming is a rapidly growing industry and I’m delighted that BT Sport is now able to showcase it for the first time ever in the UK.”

With that much money and the chance of playing live on TV on the line, maybe you’ve now got a legitimate reason to spend 20 hours a day holed up in your room with your console.

Images: EA Sports / Manchester City / West Ham United

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