British soccer club Manchester City has signed 18-year-old FIFA 16 player Kieran ‘Kez’ Brown, their first esports acquisition.
“This is a natural evolution for Manchester City. We’ve been very involved with our partner, EA Sports, and the FIFA franchise for some time," said Diego Gigliani, Mancity's senior vice president of media and innovation, in a release.
"As eSports continues to gain momentum, it makes sense for our Club to be part of the action and get closer to our fans, who love playing EA Sports FIFA as Manchester City," he continued. "We will be a bigger presence at gaming tournaments, we will have more content through our digital channels and we will activate even more with our fans at matches and Club events."
Kez, himself a native Briton from York, will largely be representing Mancity on the virtual pitch of EA sports' FIFA series of games.
“It’s exciting; it’s something new for the Club and it’s something new for me," Kez said in the release. "I’m going to livestream on twitch, I’m going to be making videos for Manchester City’s YouTube channel and I’m going to be playing some City fans and representing City in future tournaments, which I’m looking forward to. This is an opportunity which not many people get the chance to do and I couldn’t turn it down.”
Mancity isn't the only Manchester-based football club looking to gain a foothold into the esports world. According to a report from eSports News UK, Manchester United was recently in a bidding war with Fnatic for an Overwatch team. It also won't be the first English club to bring on a FIFA player, after West Ham United brought on Sean "Dragonn" Allen in May.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.