April 11, 2017
We could be rooting for a Manchester City F.C. esports team very soon. The England-based football club posted on its website a job opening for an esports manager. The job listing reads: “We are recruiting an experienced eSports Manager to oversee City Football Group’s eSports department and be the direct point of contact for CFG’s eSports players.” The lucky applicant could be looking at a whole year with the club.
City Football Group is the owner of a number of football related businesses with global relevance. These include high profile professional football clubs, academies, technical support and marketing companies. CFG’s clubs include the Premier League’s Manchester City FC, new MLS Franchise New York City Football Club in the United States, Melbourne City FC of the Australian A-League, and a minority shareholder in Yokohama Marinos of the J-League in Japan.
— Man City website
Back in July 2016, Manchester City recruited its first esports player. 18-year-old Kieran “Kez” Brown will be representing the club, competing in FIFA tournaments. Two months prior, ManCity rivals West Ham United F.C. signed an esports player of their own, 24-year-old Sean ‘Dragonn‘ Allen. Dragonn was involved in a scamming scandal where he refused to pay a a player he lost to 2-1 in cashgames in FIFA Online. The dispute has since been settled.
Away from the Premier League and onto French Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain F.C. has also dabbled in esports, taking it up a notch by creating its own esports team. Their pioneers came in the form of France’s five-time European League of Legends champion Bora “YellowStar” Kim, Denmark’s reigning FIFA world champion August “Agge” Rosenmeier, and rising French star Lucas “DaXe” Cuillerier. YellowStar is their current head of esports, and Agge and Lucas are their FIFA players.
More and more big name brands are getting in on the esports hype train. Just recently, Fnatic received $ 7 million in financing from big backers. They’re seeing the potential the esports industry could bring. Research firm Juniper Research published last month that esports could hit $ 3.5 billion in revenues worldwide by 2021.
Feature image from Manchester City