During the first FUT Championship Series final in Paris, we caught up with EA's esports guy Peter Moore to talk a bit about the esports scene surrounding FIFA, which has grown with traditional football clubs like PSG Esports signing players.
When we asked whether he saw the reason that football teams are investing in esports, Moore said: "Absolutely, I think, you know when we look at what's happening with the individual clubs here in Europe, 12, 15 months ago Shalke and Wolfsburg signed players, they were the first, quickly followed by West ham, Manchester City and then very quickly by PSG here obviously in Paris, all signing players, recognising how powerful esports is and for, quite frankly, a minimal investment saying to young men playing FIFA around the world: "we get you, we understand you, we want to be part of your community, we 're going to invest, we recognised who the great players are, we also want you to wear our jerseys", I think it's very smart and of course, now, there is a long list of clubs who have signed players."
When we asked whether this was relevant, he answered in the affirmative too. "Yes, I think that it's more than relevant, a lot of traditional sports, and certainly whether it's the NFL, MBA in American or soccer around the world, they need to actively reach out to generation coming through," he responded, "to be fans of the games, to play the games and be fans. I grew up in England, I grew up in Liverpool and, you know, it was all we had, our team, Liverpool in my case, was everything we had. In today's world, there are so many distractions, there's so many medias, social media, that clubs and leagues and federations have to work harder, to be relevant, to catch the attention of generations to come, it's not like when I was young."
EA doesn't work with those teams directly though, as "EA works with hundreds of teams around the world with our FIFA business [...] it's their business, we spend a lot of money making the game, they obviously take advantage of it, we have the world's most popular sport games and they look for the best players."
Do you think that the practice of football teams signing esports players is here to stay?