West Ham has become the first Premiership club to hire its own eSports star.
Sean “Dragonn” Allen, 24, joined the Hammers today and was given the squad number of 50, Eurogamer reports.
Allen regularly streams FIFA on Twitch and will make his West Ham-sponsored debut tomorrow at the Gfinity Arena in Fulham. He’s due to compete this weekend at the Play Like A Legend Grand Final.
“I am delighted to be joining West Ham United as their official eSports player,” Allen commented in a statement issued by the club.
“This is a massive move forward for me. I have been playing competitive FIFA for a very long time and this is the biggest thing ever to happen to me. West Ham has had an astonishing season in the Premier League with Europe looking very likely for next season. I will be doing my very best in FIFA tournaments all around the world to emulate their success.”
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said he had “heard Sean is a big player in the eSports arena”.
“I am delighted that we have managed to secure his services,” Bilic continued. “I hope he can now go on to represent the club with pride across the globe – he will certainly have the support of all the lads whenever he dons the claret and blue.”
In February, David Bytheway was hired by German football club VfL Wolfsburg to represent the club at eSports events.
Such hires seem to suggest that eSports are gaining increasing recognition and respect from traditional sports teams.