eFootball x Milan Games Week: interview with Konami's David Monk

Milan Games Week & Cartoomics is an opportunity for video game enthusiasts and not only to get together to celebrate a common passion, but also to discover all the news that this rich sector always has to offer. The 2022 edition was no different, and we at GameDivision had the pleasure of having a chat with David Monk: Senior Partnerships and Activation Manager of Konami, who presented us with a nice surprise for the eFootball fans of our peninsula.

Exclusively for the Spanish public here is indeed the eFootball Cup Spain, an exclusive export tournament dedicated to all fans of one of the most popular football simulators in the world. The formula is simple but, on balance, it is something truly revolutionary in the esports sector: Konami has in fact involved seven Serie A clubs - Milan, Monza, Rome, Atalanta, Inter, Lazio and Naples - in an initiative all to be discovered.

Through a series of selections, each of the teams will find themselves deploying a team of three players: a youth footballer, a pro player from the same team and a fan who will go to represent his favorite team. The target? Challenge other teams from the Spanish top flight to become the first winners of the eFootball Spain Cup. However, let's leave the floor to David Monk, who told us a little more about this very interesting project.

Interview with David Monk

eFootball is an ever-growing project on which Konami is really focusing a lot, what should we expect in the coming years?

What we have done in the last three years is to build a very "aggressive" strategy in building partnerships here in Spain, and at the moment we can count on the licenses of as many as 7 clubs in the Spanish league. This is because we are very keen on maintaining a certain visibility in this country: a strategy that we began studying in 2019 with a view to rebranding the series. We immediately wondered what the tools at our disposal could be to raise the bar even further, and the answer came by itself. Youth sectors, pro players in the export field, and fans. We brought these three components together and thus the eFootball Spain Cup was born: a chance for everyone to represent their team in a real way, and for us to create an important legacy in the gaming and esports sector. Both in Spain and in the rest of the world.

Let's talk about the eFootball Spain Cup: where did the idea come from? And how important is the Spanish public for a saga like eFootball?

Very importantly, it is one of the most loyal audiences and one of the most important markets for us. Before joining Konami I worked for years as a coach in various youth sectors, an experience that pushed my passion for developing young talents who could enrich the sport to the highest levels. And it was starting from there that I wondered how I could apply the same principle in the world of esports: our goal is to bring players from their homes to be able to truly represent their team around the world. One day these fans could become professionals in the field of esports, and at the same time it is clear how footballers (especially in the youth sectors) love to play video games and share this passion. A mix of these elements, brought into a free-to-play platform such as eFootball, wants to allow anyone, regardless of how much they play, to have their say. To take the field immediately and become a protagonist.

It's something you've never seen before, are you thinking of proposing it again in the next few years?

With this project Konami wants to grow, starting from Spain and then moving (if things go well) to the rest of the world. From a future point of view, we can imagine championships at European, Asian, even global level: in short, we would like to connect the entire ecosystem in a single platform.

We can't wait to see the start of the tournament, how important is it for a fan to be able to take the field to represent their favorite team?

I think that's the most important part of this project: not just participating, but really feeling like a protagonist and understanding where it's possible to go. The basic idea is to give every fan not just a game, but a real experience capable of involving and captivating from every point of view.

Last question: how do you judge the progress made with the latest versions of eFootball? The progress looks encouraging…

Thank you, what I appreciate about our fans is that they can be very patient. We're making lots of little progress, with a well-defined roadmap that we're taking one step at a time. This is the beginning of a great evolution, and we can only thank all the players for continuing to support us: the coming months will bring many new features, from new licenses to new integrations aimed at making eFootball an increasingly realistic simulation experience.

The eFootball Spain Cup will be held between December 2022 and April 2023, with the final expected during the weekend of the Naples ComicCon on 22/22 April. In the meantime, we invite you to continue following us for more news, and to take a look at our review of eFootball 2023. So, are you ready to take the field?

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