The J. League announced Friday it will launch an esports tournament together with Konami Digital Entertainment Co. featuring the videogame maker's trademark soccer title.
The 40 clubs in J .League's top two tiers will select three players each to compete in a mobile-app version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, which has been downloaded more than 150 million times worldwide.
The two-day tournament, to take place July 14-15, will follow rounds of qualification starting on March 22 to decide the representatives of each club. Online registration will open Thursday.
Pro Evolution Soccer, a simulation game known in Japan as Winning Eleven, was also contested at last summer's Asian Games when esports were installed as a demonstration event.
Konami Digital Entertainment also launched an esports competition with Nippon Professional Baseball last year.
"Esports is enjoyed by people of different generations, gender and whether they have disabilities or not," J. League chairman Mitsuru Murai told a news conference in Tokyo. "It is a useful way to spread the attractions of soccer."