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Southampton sign professional FIFA player Owen 'SaintsVenny' Venn

8:31 PM IST 20/12/19
Owen Venn SaintsVenny
Southampton have become the latest club to enter the world of professional FIFA by signing Owen 'SaintsVenny' Venn ahead of the ePremier League season

Joining the likes of Manchester City and West Ham, Southampton have signed their first professional FIFA player, Owen Venn. Venn who will now go by the name of 'SaintsVenny' after previously being known as Method Venny while representing professional esports organisation Method.

The 22-year-old made has represented Southampton before, making it all the way to the semi-finals of the PS4 bracket of the inaugural ePremier League finals last season.

2019 also saw SaintsVenny qualify for the eChampions League, although he was unable to make the FIFA eWorld Cup play-offs.

Southampton Football Club’s Marketing Director, Luke Nicholson, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Venny as our first official esports player.

“Venny represented us so impressively during last season’s ePremier League, and we are delighted to be working with him even more closely now. We look forward to supporting him in his own goals and are excited about what he can achieve while playing for us.”

The club’s support of SaintsVenny will also see it assist him in areas away from gaming, such as sports psychology, nutrition and fitness.

SaintsVenny said: "I am proud to be signing for Southampton as their first-ever FIFA esports player. I have big ambitions for my career and feel that the club can offer me the support I need to take my career to the next level. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

SaintsVenny joining Southampton brings the number of Premier League clubs with professional FIFA players up to four.

Manchester City are represented by Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette and Ryan Pessoa; West Ham have Gabriel ‘Yago’ Fawaz and Jas Singh on their books and Wolves have Brazilian duo Flávio ‘Fifilza’ Brito and Ebinho ‘Ebinhob’ Bernardes.

In March next year all 20 Premier League clubs will be competing at the second ePremier League tournament, which was won in 2019 by Liverpool, represented then by Donovan ‘FnaticTekkz’ Hunt.

As well as receiving the title of 2019/20 ePL Champion, the 2020 winner will also walk away with half of the £40,000 prize pool.

The runner-up will win £10,000, while the runners-up of the two console finals will take home £5,000 each.