Electronic Arts, in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe today announced the beginning of the 2010 FIFA Interactive World Cup worldwide tournament.

Last year’s tournament drew over 500,000 participants, but this being an actual World Cup year, we expect that figure to balloon.

The grand prize, awarded to the winner of the final held in Barcelona in May, is $20,000 and the priceless opportunity to hang out with professional footballers at the FIFA World Cup Players Gala at the actual World Cup in South Africa this summer.

“More than half a million players vied for a spot in the Grand Final of last year’s FIFA Interactive World Cup. This makes it the FIFA tournament with the most competitors,” said Chuck Blazer, a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the patron of the FIFA Interactive World Cup. “The FIWC is becoming more and more popular among all age groups and the great thing is that everybody can participate. Players can face each other whenever they want and wherever they are – this is truly unique.”

But how do you get there?‚  It’s easy. Sorta. Over the next 7 months, over the PlayStation Network (not Xbox Live) and in-person at 10 live events scattered across the globe, players will face off against eachother, and vie for one of the 31 finals spots.

And for the first time ever, according to the press release “online qualification will be split into two separate seasons, with the first season running from 2 October through to 18 December 2009, and the second season running from 4 January through to 31 March 2010”

If you’re interested in this tournament of gargantuan nature head over to the tournament’s official page for more.

About The Author

Eddie Makuch is a Blast staff writer. Reach him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch.

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