Football teams are now signing people who are really good at Fifa
Can you do it on a cold night in Stoke though?
Turns out you can make a career out of playing Fifa – which is certainly vindication for all the years your mother looked at you, hunched over a controller on a Saturday afternoon, and implored you to go outside (“just for an hour or so”).
David Bytheway, a 22-year-old from the Midlands, has just signed for Bundesliga club Wolfsburg in the capacity of “official gamer”. He played for England in the Interactive World Cup and has travelled to tournaments in New York, Las Vegas and Rio.
David has signed as one of VfL Wolfburg’s two official Fifa players, and will represent them by wearing their kit at tournaments and when he streams his games online. The downside is he will presumably have to play as Wolfsburg all the time too (who have four and a half stars to Bayern and Dortmund’s five).
He won’t be on a Premier League salary, but he’s admitted he’s getting a “comfortable wage”. Also, he can call Draxler, Bendtner and ex-Chelsea player Schürrle his colleagues.
What about his regime? “I wouldn’t call it a training schedule, but I always try to get in at least four to six games in a day,” he told the BBC. He adds that, “you have to play people around your own skill level”. His main opponents live in Malta and Canada, so he has to navigate time difference.
No team in the Premier League has appointed a Fifa player, though David thinks it’s likely in future. He said: “E-sports is growing so much every year, [and] generating [viewers]. Wolfsburg can see the potential and so they want to be the first to do it. Clubs give out contracts to players based on how they value them, so if e-sports continues to be be a major market and has a lot of value in it for clubs, then obviously wages will go up for [e-sport] players as well.”
Get the hours in – that repetitive strain injury won’t develop itself.