Manchester City’s 2020/21 Premier League campaign came to an end on Sunday, with captain Fernandinho lifting the Premier League trophy after a sensational season in which City won the league by 12 points.
City’s 2020/21 campaign has been sensational for a variety of reasons. Guardiola’s side became title winners for the third time in four seasons, in what has been a campaign that was overshadowed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and with a tactical system that didn’t include a traditional striker, with Ilkay Gundogan finishing the season as the club’s top goalscorer in the league with 13 goals.
City have also won the Carabao Cup, beating Tottenham Hotspur in the final, and have reached their first-ever Champions League final, with City set to take on fellow Premier League side Chelsea on Saturday, May 29 in Estádio do Dragão.
* Click here to subscribe to Level up! The Esports and Gaming Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Spreaker.*
And that’s just a summary of what’s happened on the real-life pitch.
Because not only did City dominate the Premier League, they also dominated the ePremier League, the esports edition of the famous competition.
The ePremier League was introduced in 2018, with FIFA players from throughout the UK representing Premier League clubs on PlayStation and Xbox. The inaugural ePL champion was Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt who lifted the trophy on behalf of Liverpool.
In 2020/21, City became the first club to win the Premier League and the ePremier League in the same season, with City’s dedicated professional FIFA player Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette beating the best FIFA 21 players in the UK to secure the title for City back in March.
Shellzz told Manchester Evening News about how it felt to win the ePremier League for Man City in 2020/21.
“Words can’t describe how it felt to win the ePremier League title this season and finally call myself a Champion,” said Shellzz.
“I feel like I’ve come close so many times so to finally do it this season, especially in different circumstances where we’ve been playing remotely without live events and crowds backing us, feels amazing.
“To represent Man City is a dream come true, they support us really well and I try my best to give that back to them.
“Bringing any trophy home is what I’ve always wanted to do but to bring it home for Manchester City and make it a Premier League and ePremier League double is special and I hope I can keep on winning more.”
But City’s success in esports in 2020/21 doesn’t stop there. This season, the City Football Group have won four esports titles including the ePremier League title, eMLS Series 1 and eMLS League Series 2 and their first-ever trophy for winning OCE Qualifier #2.
And this season, for the first time ever, CFG clubs Man City, New York City FC and Melbourne City all qualified for the FIFA eClub World Cup, with Man City achieving a record-breaking fourth appearance in the competition.
The City Football Group continues to invest in esports, with 16 professional FIFA players across clubs like City, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos, Girona FC, Montevideo City Torque, Sichuan Jiuniu FC and Mumbai City FC and two further esports teams in South Korea and China representing CFG in major FIFA tournaments around the world.
Away from the competitive esports scene, City also announced unique collaborations with partners like FaZeClan and Puma, with the club releasing their first esports shirt and active gaming footwear, the first collaboration of its kind.
The club were also featured in Fortnite for the first time at the start of this year, with City emotes, outfits, skins and more available in-game after City collaborated with Epic Games.
City also hosted a number of fan activations within the esports space including the CFG FIFA Challenge in June 2020, the FaZe City Cup with FaZe Clan and an esports tournament in the UAE and Egypt with partners Etisalat.
Gavin Johnson, Media Director at City Football Group, told Manchester Evening News : “At Manchester City, we are constantly working to explore opportunities to bring our fans new and immersive ways they can engage with the club.
“In a season like no other, esports has provided the club with an avenue to stay connected to fans virtually across the globe.
“Whether it be FIFA tournaments, our monthly esports show with EA Sports, live streams or behind the scenes videos, alongside our partners we’ve been able to provide exciting, new experiences and activations for fans and gamers to enjoy.
“Over a number of years, we have extended our esports resources and offering to enable us to deliver the success we are now experiencing and to secure the ePremier League title alongside the Premier League title is testament to everyone involved.”
Manchester City are already one of the biggest football clubs in the world, but this season, City have also cemented their place as one of the biggest esports teams in the world, dominating on the pitch, both in real-life and virtually.