With the new EA Sports FIFA game, FIFA 20, set for release in a few days’ time, Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno has become the next famous face to become actively involved in esports by signing five players to represent him at FIFA 20 tournaments across the globe.
The team, known as “Leno eSports” will consist of two professional FIFA players, Jan Nicklas Flock (aged 20) and the more experienced 26-year-old Deniel Mutic, alongside three younger up and coming stars on the scene in Max Lud (17), Paul Kowtun (18) and Joe Hellman (16).
Leno eSports: The London Meeting
It is believed Leno held a meeting with the five-man team during the 2019 FIFA eWorld Cup at the 02 Arena in London back in August, during which the team was formally founded.
The five members of the team have all Tweeted recently to say that an announcement about the formation of Leno eSports is expected soon.
I am proud and happy to announce, that I will be part of @Leno_eSports ❤️?
— Deniel Mutic (@_Denii_10) September 17, 2019
According to German newspaper Bild, the 27-year old goalkeeper has had a healthy interest in the esports scene for some time and not only does he want his team to compete in the major FIFA esports tournaments around the world, but that he also wants to help discover and develop the next generation of esports starts from Stuttgart, the town closest to where Leno was born and where he began his career in the second team back in 2009.
Arsenal’s Strong Esports Involvement
Leno becomes the latest Arsenal star to become involved in the esports scene. Fellow German midfielder and international Mesut Ozil has already sponsored with an esports agency to create his own esports team M10 eSports at the back end of 2018.
Furthermore, the Gunners owner Stan Kroenke, the owner of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, not only holds a controlling interest in Arsenal and a number of other sports teams around the globe, but he is also actively involved in the esports scene, as he is the franchise owner of the Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch team, as well as spending $25 million to become one of the two forthcoming Call of Duty World League franchises based in Los Angeles.
However, Arsenal is not the only team with an interest in esports. A number of top teams from around the world, such as Fenerbahce, Paris St Germain, Brondby, Manchester City, West Ham, A.S. Roma, Ajax and Galatasaray have all developed their own esports teams across a number of esports games, not just FIFA. PSG.LGD for example, play on the Dota 2 Pro Circuit, while Fenerbahce are active on the League of Legends scene and have contested at the LoL World Championships in the past.
Furthermore, Leicester City defender Christian Fuchs has set up his own NoFuchsGiven eSport Academy team.
With esports growing massively in popularity, this may just be the start of a large number of professional sports men and women who actively begin to participate and invest in the burgeoning esports scene.
See also: How to open a Betway Account
Photo Credits: Getty