The world of eSports continues to not go unnoticed by professional sports leagues and franchises. The NBA got the ball rolling, but the first professional eSports player in MLS history has now been signed. Christopher Holly was signed by New York City FC to represent the club in FIFA tournaments and championships.
This is incredibly fitting because the audience for EA Sports’ FIFA video game franchise spans the globe unlike any other sports franchise it owns, including Madden NFL. An MLS franchise signing a top FIFA player to represent the club in such tournaments makes perfect sense in the evolving world of competitive video gaming.
“At New York City FC, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and get closer to our fans, NYCFC Senior Vice-President of Media and Innovation Diego Gigliani said in a released statement. “We are delighted to welcome Christopher Holly to the Club to represent NYCFC as the first ever eSports player in MLS.
To go with the signing of the club’s first eSports pro, the club will also be working to broadcast his competitions online using YouTube and Twitch. We may also get a chance to catch Holly on TV as ESPN begins to prepare to air FIFA tournaments. When not competing on the international stage himself, Holly will be around the team to challenge fans and players.
It should have been expected NYCFC would be the first MLS club to sign an eSports pro. City Football Group, 80% owners of the club who also own Manchester City of the Premier League, also signed Kez Brown to represent Manchester City last year. You can probably imagine there will be some head-to-head FIFA matches between the two in the near future.