New York City FC have made history as the first MLS club to sign a player to their eSports roster, with Christopher Holly acquired as a FIFA 17 gamer.
NYCFC are looking to branch out with representatives in FIFA tournaments and championships worldwide.
They are following the lead of sister club Manchester City, with the Premier League side having landed FIFA star Kieran ‘Kez’ Brown in 2016.
Leading clubs across Europe have also moved into the eSports arena, with the first professional FIFA league launched in France.
New York City have joined the ranks after teaming up with Players’ Lounge in October 2016 to host an online tournament which included a live final event at Yankee Stadium.
Diego Gigliani, Senior Vice President of Media and Innovation at City Football Marketing, said in a statement: “At New York City FC, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and get closer to our fans. We are delighted to welcome Christopher Holly to the Club to represent NYCFC as the first ever eSports player in MLS.
“Christopher will play EA Sports FIFA at gaming tournaments around the world and challenge NYCFC fans pre-match as well as our players. We’ll also be creating content and live streaming on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.”
Holly, who hails from Haiti, added: “I never thought this would happen so when the club contacted me, I was shocked and now I’m really looking forward to it.
“I think NYCFC has some great players such as [Andrea] Pirlo and David Villa. They’re players I used to watch when I was younger so now that they’re in the MLS and in New York, it’s great.”
Following the official announcement, Holly took in a FIFA 17 match with NYCFC forward Sean Okoli.
Holly was able to get off to a winning start in his new role as he prevailed 4-0.
Okoli said: “If he keeps going like this, he’ll be No. 1 in no time.”