Ukrainian football club Dynamo Kiev has announced that they are starting a "totally new project aimed to popularise esports," also announcing that they have signed a professional FIFA player.
Ivan Bulavka was the figure responsible for initiating Dynamo Kiev's joining of the esports world, or more specifically the world of "efootball," and suggested the team sign a player as well.
"By the way, Ukraine is among top 5 leading esports countries in the world," the announcement reads. "Still as far as there are few professional clubs in our country, many talented sportsmen have to play for foreign teams."
Their newly signed player is FIFA 16 Champion of Ukraine of the Year for 2016, Vitaliy Mukha, who has also won 12 out of 15 LAN FIFA 16 tournaments this year, and the Kiev Cup three times. Not only this, but he also participated in the 2016 World Cup.
Journalists turned up at the event to witness Mukha's unveiling and putting the team's shirt on, and we've included pictures below, courtesy of Dynamo Kiev. During the presentation Vice President Olexiy Semenenko and Fan-club president Serhiy Mykhailenko also answered questions from the press.
The first question was actually about the club's absence from FIFA 17 and whether they would do anything to contact developers for next year: "It's difficult to predict what happens in a year," Semenenko answered. "Working with the team of Ivan Bulavka we'll confer with people, who are specialists in this area. If it's beneficial for the club, we'll move in this direction. Dynamo efootball team is a trendy project. That's what we've invited the best Ukrainian player for."
In terms of who they will play against, Semenenko assured us that we'll see Dynamo Kiev competing against other clubs in games and tournaments in the future.
The press also asked Mukha what it's like to be a professional "efootball" player: "There's nothing special about it," he responded. "It used to just a hobby for me, but I've already been playing professionally for two years. Everyone has his own training program. As for me, it depends upon my mood: if I'm in fine fettle I can play. I train during live tournaments."
Ivan Bulavka also revealed that the project extends to the whole of esports, not just FIFA 17: "I can add that one of our tasks is to form Dynamo esports school and develop it just like [a] football academy is [...] developed. We have a plan for the forthcoming year and three-year strategy. We want to arrange big esports tournaments in Ukraine. It's a business project, so we don't want to lay our cards on the table at once."
With yet another football team making moves into esports, will this soon be a thing we see all major clubs doing?