SingaCup, Singapore’s largest and fastest-growing 11-a-side international youth football tournament is going virtual in its tenth edition this year.
Having commenced in 2011, previous editions had 70% overseas teams participating, attracting more than 7,500 participants and spectators for the week-long event.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SingaCup had to reinvent itself as a virtual hybrid event christened eSingaCup 2020, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
“We are living in unprecedented times, with many adversely affected by COVID-19, a global pandemic that has left no stone unturned. eSingaCup 2020 was created to celebrate the inclusiveness of sport, in particular, football, and how it can be a unifying presence despite all odds,” said P. Selvakumar, Tournament Director of eSingaCup 2020.
Dynamique Konzepts, the organiser of this premier youth football sporting event of Asia announced that the eSingaCup 2020 will take place from October 31 to November 4, 2020.
“It is heartening to see organisers such as Dynamique Konzepts rethink event formats in fresh and innovative ways in this challenging time," said Ong Ling Lee, Director, Sports, Singapore Tourism Board.
“We are pleased to support eSingaCup 2020 this year as part of SingaCup’s 10th anniversary, and are excited to have participants from both the local and international community join us virtually this year”, she added. “We look forward to welcoming them back to Singapore in the near future”.
The Line-up for SingaCup 2020
The line-up includes 2 types of FIFA 21 esports tournaments, featuring over 480 players from eight countries. It is set to take place on Facebook Live.
The hybrid 5-day event will consist of competitive esports tournaments, interviews, panel discussions and webinars. It will feature some of the biggest names in Asian football, celebrity guests and industry experts, as well as competitions and music segments from local music celebrities.
The tournament seeks to reaffirm its strong standing in the international grassroots football community and attract new fans and a greater audience while showcasing Singapore and the event online.
Furthermore, it seeks to remain relevant during this time when all grassroots football events are cancelled and are effectively out of the public consciousness.
It also strives to increase its profile and fan/participant base while readying for the re-opening of international borders and resumption of physical sports tournaments.
The Rule Enforcers from Asia and Europe Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen, Kate Jacewicz and Chris Beath kick off the first #eSingaCup2020 panel discussion on October 31.
As the only virtual football event of its kind to grace the online presence of fans, professional footballers and footballing experts alike, this event aims to kickstart more major e-tournaments in football, as a safer, more responsible means of enjoying the sport amid a global pandemic.
From Pitch to Screen Amid a Global Pandemic, the eSingaCup 2020 kicks off with a virtual alternative to field football, with full 32-team tournaments for EA Sports’ premier football video game title, FIFA 21.
“An online event such as this also allows us to engage with a broader audience and bring people together through their love of the sport, creating something unique for people to enjoy from the comfort of their homes wherever in the world they may live,” said P. Selvakumar.
Tournaments are split into two types: the 8 Nations Tournament, featuring 352 international eSports athletes from 8 different countries vying for the title of eSingaCup 2020 Champion; and the 1 v 1 tournament for members of the public, competing to be crowned the Grand Champion of eSingaCup 2020.
This eclectic event will have its own sprinkle of stardust with interviews involving football celebrities such ex-English Premier League star and 108-cap ex-Australian international team captain, Tim Cahill.
The star-studded event is also set to feature regional heroes like India’s Sunil Chhetri, Indonesia's Stefano Lilipaly, as well as local players Hassan Sunny and Ikhsan Fandi.
Local soccer players from Singapore’s very own S-League, Irfan Bachdim (PSS Sleman), Baihakki Khaizan (Tampines Rovers FC) and Patrick Deyto (Suphanburi) will speak about their careers, the fans and their football dream on November 2.
“Although we are unable to organize our usual physical tournament in Singapore, we remain committed to contributing to both the local and international football community during these difficult times”, said tournament director Selvakumar.
The event will also feature a virtual watch-along party of the Kallang Roar movie to pay homage to the peak of Singaporean football.
SingaCup also features a CSR element where it seeks to assist the wider under-privileged community in Southeast Asia. Previous editions of the SingaCup have benefited over 700 children in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia since 2014.
To end the event on a high, two free online contests centered around the eSingaCup 2020 theme of showcasing the spirit of perseverance, resilience and hard work, will be open to the public, where prizes can be won.
Not forgetting the fans, eSingaCup 2020 also has a tournament set for members of the public where gamers from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Indonesia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Taiwan will be able to participate.
32 randomly-drawn groups of 4 players each will compete in a round-robin series where the winner of each group will advance to the knockout rounds on Day 2. Registration closed on October 30 with slots limited to the first 128 individuals who sign up.
Selected games will be broadcast live through Days 1 and 2, with interactions throughout the live stream broadcast, during and between matches.