The NFL is doing something very different for this year’s Pro Bowl. On Tuesday, the league announced the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl is going virtual with the help of EA Sports and Madden NFL 21. It was also announced that voting for the Pro Bowl has begun. This comes after the 2021 Pro Bowl in Allegiant Stadium was called off.
EA Sports and the NFL will create a week-long series of matchups featuring celebrities, NFL Legends, current players, and streamers playing as the official Pro Bowl rosters in Madden NFL 21. These matchups will lead up to a virtual Pro Bowl played with the 2021 Pro Bowl players facing off in Madden NFL 21, and the games can be seen by fans all across the country on various platforms. EA Sports will also add new in-game contact so gamers can play out the AFC vs NFC battle.
“Even amidst unparalleled change across the sports industry, we are excited to transition many of the signature components of the Pro Bowl-which will go virtual in Madden NFL 21- into a new innovative experience for our players and fans. We remain committed to using our Pro Bowl platform to empower fans to virtually celebrate the best players in the game,” Peter O’Reilly, NFL EVP of Club Business and Events, said in a press release. “Our partners at EA SPORTS and Verizon are uniquely positioned to help the NFL make the transformation of this high-profile event from live to virtual possible, and we look forward to working closely with them to deliver this unprecedented experience to fans.”
NFL coaches and players will cast their Pro Bowl votes on Dec. 18. The players will be selected based on the number of votes from players, coaches and fans. “We are transforming the Pro Bowl for fans everywhere and bringing another amazing NFL experience to life in the way only Madden NFL can,” Chris Bruzzo, Electonic Arts EVP of Marketing Commercial & Positive Play said in a press release. “We’re excited to work closely with the NFL, our long-time partner, to move the Pro Bowl to the virtual fields of Madden NFL and be part of the first high-profile sporting event to go virtual. The events during Pro Bowl week will be featured in a special program, which will air on ESPN and ABC.