Manchester City on Friday announced the signing of FIFA eSports player Marcus “ExpectSporting” Jorgensen, who will represent the club around the world on the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console.
Jorgensen, 18, becomes the Premier League leaders’ second eSports signing, following Xbox player Kieran “Kez” Brown, who joined the club in 2016.
Marcus enjoyed a successful 2017, becoming the inaugural champion at the FIFA Interactive Club World Cup, beating competitors from top European football clubs, and also reaching the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final in London.
“I’m extremely happy to be stepping into the next chapter of my eSports career with Manchester City,” said Jorgensen. “2017 represented such a successful season for me and I have the drive and ambition to take my game to the next level.”
Nuria Tarre, chief marketing officer for City Football Group, said: “We’re really excited to be signing Marcus to represent Manchester City in tournaments and fan events around the world. He has already demonstrated that he can compete amongst the best eSports FIFA players around so we can’t wait to see how he progresses.”
Jorgensen will represent City for the first time at the FUT Champions Cup from January 26 to 28 January in Barcelona. His appointment takes the number of eSports players signed to City Football Group clubs, including New York City and Melbourne City, to five.
Participation in eSports has soared as virtual games gain traction with a worldwide fan audience.
A report this month from Deloitte Global said the eSports market, which generates revenue from live viewing and events, has grown from $ 325 million in 2015 and is expected to reach close to $ 1 billion in 2018.
Viewing hours leapt to an estimated six billion hours globally in 2016, five times the volume of 2010, the report said.
The first FIFA eWorld Cup will take place in 2018 and eSports will be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.