BBC News

Manchester City sign first e-sports player

By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter

image copyrightEA
image captionFifa is a hugely popular computer game which mirrors real teams

Manchester City Football Club have signed a new young player - but one who will never set foot on the pitch.

Instead 18-year-old Kieran "Kez" Brown joins the club as its first e-sports player.

He will represent the club at e-sports tournaments, playing popular computer game Fifa.

Premier League rivals West Ham signed their first Fifa player, Sean "Dragonn" Allen, in May and many other top flight clubs are keen to get involved.

"It's exciting, it's something new for the club and it's something new for me," said Mr Brown.

"I'm going to live stream 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."

image copyrightManchester City FC
image captionTop-flight clubs are increasingly watching how eSports develops

Diego Gigliani, vice-president of media and innovation at Manchester City, said: "As e-sports 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.

"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."

E-sports is increasingly being seen as a lucrative spin-off for football clubs.

Top ranking Fifa players, like those for other games such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike, travel around the world to compete for titles and cash prizes.

Related Topics

  • Gaming

More on this story

  • UK gets 24-hour esports gaming channel on TV

  • The pro Fifa player who is ready to quit e-sports