The most paramount organisation in esports Fnatic has announced a partnership with AS Roma.
The relationship will mean that the historic Italian giants will be represented by professional FIFA players at esports tournaments against other FIFA affiliations and football clubs such as VfL Wolfsburg, FC Schalke 04, and Manchester City.
Fnatic will power the team, led by the coach Colin Johnson.
CEO of Fnatic Wouter Sleijffers said at the press conference: “FIFA’s entry into the world of esports has received the attention of many organisations, both from established football clubs and esports organisations.”
He continued to say: “We’re thrilled and honoured to work alongside AS Roma by helping the club take its first steps into a new, digital chapter in its rich and storied legacy.”
AS Roma President Jim Pallotta then went on to say: “As one of the most digitally-connected sports teams in the world, we’ve strived to create an organisation at Roma that engages our fans through all digital channels”.
Amongst AS Roma’s new signings is American Aman Seddiqi, who played his first FIFA competition on his 18th birthday, winning $4000 as he took first place.
After signing for Roma, he said: “I was excited for the opportunity! And being able to represent a club like this one makes me immensely proud. It really shows that if you put in work, people will recognise that effort.
“It's humbling. It feels amazing as a person who has been an advocate of FIFA eSports for years to see professional football clubs signing FIFA pros. The investment into FIFA by the clubs and EA really proves how far we have come.”
When asked how often he trains, Aman said “Forty games a weekend, minimum. In preparation for an event though, I can easily play up to 70 hours a week.
"I'll seek out the top players in any region to play. You can only get better by playing the best players in the world.
"In any given tournament you're going to play any number of playstyles, so you have to get used to playing against a lot of different ones.”
Events such as FIFA Interactive World Cup have grown exponentially since its introduction in 2004, where 18-year-old Thiago Carrico won the competition in Zurich.
500,000 players participated in 2009, a round million three years later, and last year. over 2.4 million competed across multiple consoles with 17-year-old Mohamed Al-Bacha winning the gold medal in the world’s largest gaming tournament.
He won $40,000 and a ticket to the Ballon d'Or for his success.