Spanish soccer goes virtual through 'FIFA 20' challenge

At launch, 'FIFA 20' did not have to accommodate COVID-related league suspensions

Soccer players from each of Spain's top flight league, La Liga, clubs are taking part in a three-day video game tournament starting March 20.

Three days of "FIFA 20" provide an alternative outlet for the fans and players of Spain's best soccer teams.

Players from each of La Liga's 20 clubs are participating in LaLigaSantander Challenge, a knockout hosted by Spanish livestreamer Ibai Llanos through his Twitch channel,

That's where the action takes place, with a draw on March 19 deciding the tournament schedule, and match play beginning at 7pm Central European on March 20.

For international viewers, that's 11am PDT, 2pm EDT, 6pm GMT, 8pm South Africa, and 11:30pm India, then on March 21 at 2am in Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, and Beijing, China, then 3am in South Korea and Japan, and 5am in Sydney, Australia.

Picking up the gamepads, in order of current La Liga standings, will be Sergi Roberto (for Barcelona CF), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Sergio Reguilon (Sevilla), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Jason (Getafe), Marcos Llorente (Atlético Madrid), Carlos Soler (Valencia), Manu Morlanes (Villarreal), José Antonio Martinez (Granada), Ruben Garcia (Osasuna), Borja Iglesias (Real Betis), and Carlos Clerc (Levante).

Lucas Perez (Alavés), Pedro Porro (Real Valladolid), Edu Exposito (Eibar), Kevin Vazquez (Celta Vigo), Aitor Ruibal (Leganés), and Adri Embarba (Espanyol) are playing first, on March 20, for a place in the last 16.

(Mallorca is missing as their nominated "FIFA 20" player, Alex Pozo, had to withdraw.)

Playing first for a place in the last 16 on March 20 are the six lowest-ranked La Liga sides: Leganés against Real Valladolid kicks off at 7pm, with Alavés versus Celta at 7:30pm and Espanyol vs Eibar from 8pm.

That leaves 15 matches to be played over the course of Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22: the Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Grand Final itself.

After La Liga was suspended on March 12, Iglesias (Real Betis) and Reguilón (Sevilla) played out the Seville derby through a March 15 match of "FIFA 20," with Ibai as match commentator; for the tournament, he's joined by well-known TV pros Ruben Martin, Miguel Ángel Roman, Antoni Damiel and Manolo Lama.