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The International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) via a press release shared with us today confirmed that its scheduled Nations Cup Final will be moving ahead as planned but will be held online because of the COVID- 19 crisis.
The Nations Cup will be hosted on May 30 and 31, with 14 competing nations taking part in the competition through IFMP’s digital host platform. The participating teams include defending World Champions Ukraine, European Champions Spain, Asian Champions India, along with Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Ireland, Poland, Germany, Belarus, Lithuania. Joining this list will be a Digital Nation and a pick by IFMP President Patrick Nally.
Players will be able to access the gameplay software on their mobile phones or tablets.
The COVID-19 global crisis has affected 210 countries worldwide, with at least 2,184,566 confirmed positive cases so far and a death toll touching 146,897. The pandemic has brought all live poker operations to a standstill, forcing poker brands to either cancel or postpone their scheduled live stops.
Following in the footsteps of other global brands like the WSOP, WPT, and Irish Poker Open, IFMP has also opted for the digital route.
Moving the Nations Cup online should be relatively easy for the IFMP to pull off considering how even the live matches are held on smart devices. As for the other elements that make the competition a team sport, the IFMP digital platform will allow players to see and communicate with their table competitors during the session, clarified the press release. The platform will also allow players to interact with teammates and the captain to strategize during the breaks.
For production purposes, all players will be shooting personal video introductions. Since players from around the world will be competing in the event at once, some countries will be playing the sessions in the mornings and some at night.
The current season of the Nations Cup had kicked off with Europe’s Nations Cup in Ukraine, where Spain was crowned the champion. The Asian Nations Cup was hosted in Taiwan, where 5 nations had qualified and Team India, captained by Gaurav Gala and consisting of, Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal, Tanmay Bagga, Rishab Jain, Prateek Mishra, Krina Gala, and Taran Mundkar won the cup. The upcoming Nations Cup will crown the World Match Poker Champion for 2020.
Nally’s official statement in the press release read, “All International Sports Federations are facing enormous challenges due to the pandemic but we are fortunate that, with our gameplay software, we are able to play a ‘live’ event but in individual home locations. Match Poker is a sport based entirely on skill and it’s the combination of a team’s effort that will ultimately produce the winner.”
“The social relationships developed through the hosting of our Match Poker events are important to us and we are looking forward to getting back to live events as soon as practical, but we will continue to support our international competition schedule in this manner until such times as our’ sporting family’ can be reunited” he added.