Ben Parfitt . People . Monday 8th February 2016 . 15:50
Bundesliga team VfL Wolfsburg has signed an English youngster to play as part of its FIFA eSports team.
The BBC reports that David Bytheway from Wolverhampton is now an official employee of the club, and is one of two players signed to compete for it in FIFA tournaments. He even has a squad number (53).
“It’s absolutely massive for me the fact that a team like Wolfsburg have gotten involved with gaming,” he said. “It was just something I was doing at home to start with, just playing my friends and wanting to be the best out of them, and all of a sudden I’m a part of a football club.
“[eSports] is a new market for them. [It] is growing so much every year with all the viewers it’s generating. Wolfsburg can see the potential and so they want to be the first to do it.”
He added that he hopes Premier League clubs will begin hiring for their own eSports players within a year, adding of his own move: “Right now it’s not exactly historic, but in five years’ time when we look back at this we’ll think, ‘wow they really started something here’.”
Bytheway has been playing FIFA professionally for five years, travelling the world to compete at tournaments.
Wolfsburg finished second in the Bundesliga last year, although are faring less well this season. They are currently in seventh place, some 17 points behind second placed Borussia Dortmund.