Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain and MLS (relative) newcomers New York City F.C. both announced new FIFA esports signings this week, and boy, there’s some big names in the mix.
PSG signed Rafael ‘rafifa’ Fortes, who, as we know, won the FUT Champions Miami Regional over LucasRep98 back in February. He’s a big boost to the French side’s FIFA squad, in addition to August “Agge” Rosenmeier, a Danish esports player who’s been a staple in the competitive football-gaming scene for years now.
NYCFC, on the other hand, picked up their first-ever esports player, Christopher Holly a.k.a. ‘didychrislito’ — who also becomes the first in Major League Soccer history.
Last month, Holly ranked third on the FUT Champions Leaderboard in his console (PS4) and finished with an overall win-loss record of 191-9.
Here’s an excerpt from NYCFC’s official press release:
Diego Gigliani, SVP, Media and Innovation, City Football Marketing, elaborated: “At New York City FC, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and get closer to our fans. We are delighted to welcome Christopher Holly to the Club to represent NYCFC as the first ever eSports player in MLS.
“Christopher will play EA Sports FIFA at gaming tournaments around the world and challenge NYCFC fans pre-match as well as our players. We’ll also be creating content and livestreaming on platforms like YouTube and twitch.
“This is the next stage in our eSports strategy at City Football Group. Last year, we signed Kez Brown as Manchester City’s first eSports player and now it is great news that Christopher is joining our group.”
This year, FIFA has made monumental strides in the competitive gaming world of esports. According to the same press release from MLS, “In 2016, eSports had 256 million viewers worldwide and the industry saw 43% year on year revenue growth. EA Sport’s FIFA, in particular, is a global game with 5 billion matches played annually. The FIFA Interactive World Cup is recognized as the largest FIFA eSports tournament in the world, with millions of competitors.”
This is partly due to FIFA 17’s FUT Champions, and the incorporation of the Weekend League. There’s been a big uptick in interest since the introduction of this mode back in September, and for right now, the future looks bright.