English soccer giants Manchester City have made another move into competitive gaming through a partnership with esports organisation Epsilon.
The deal will see the Premier League champions enter a team in the FIFA 19 category for season four of the Gfinity Elite Series. The soccer video game was added to the esports organisation’s line-up of competitions earlier this year, and the tournament features top clubs from across Europe.
A selection of players from City and Epsilon’s rosters of professional gamers will make up half of the team with the remaining players to be chosen through a draft. The ten-team, eight-week tournament is scheduled to begin on 26th October, with the final due to take place on 7th or 8th September.
The move sees City continue to boost their esports presence, building on partnerships with gaming headset and audio accessory brand Turtle Beach and Korean gaming firm Nexon. The club also became the first Premier League side to launch an esports team in China back in June.
“Manchester City esports’ collaboration with Epsilon provides a very exciting opportunity for us to continue our digital expansion,” said Nuria Tarre, chief marketing officer at City Football Group, owners of Manchester City’s. “The Gfinity Elite Series is a globally renowned tournament and we are delighted to be competing alongside Epsilon’s experienced team.
“Manchester City is dedicated to growing our presence within esports. Being part of the Elite Series gives our fans a new platform to watch our players compete and we’re looking forward to seeing how they progress.”
City already have ties to Gfinity through Garry Cook, their former chief executive who took over as executive chairman of the London-based company in May.
City remain top of the Premier League after their 0-0 draw with Liverpool last Sunday, and return to action after the international break at home to Burnley on 20th October.