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Published: 4/Aug/2018 15:16 Updated: 19/Jan/2021 15:53by Calum Patterson
With the Fifa eWorld Cup taking place right now in London, Arsenal player Mesut Özil has announced the creation of his esports team is in the works.
More European football clubs are investing and creating esports divisions, as the industry grows; Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Lille, Schalke 04 and Manchester City to name a few.
Few players have taken the leap themselves and invested in esports, but Barcelona player Gerard Pique and the legendary Ronaldinho have been the trend setters for player-owned teams.
Özil, who plays for English Premier League club Arsenal and (until his recent retirement from international football) Germany, announced the creation of his esports team and the opening of recruitment for a FIFA roster on August 2.
Özil was part of the promotion for the FIFA eWorld Cup in London, featuring in the trailer video and attending the event, as he takes a keen interest in the burgeoning FIFA esports scene.
The eWorld Cup boasts an impressive $400,000 prize pool – $250,000 for first place – and is the culmination of the entire 17-18 competitive FIFA season.
FIFA has quickly become the most popular sport-game esport, with NBA 2K also blossoming, as sports games in general become more esports centric, helped by increased developer support.
These games have massive casual player bases, thanks to the popularity of their respective real-life equivalents, in turn creating a huge talent pool of potential esports stars.
Özil is partnering with eSports Reputation to operate his team, a management and agency company specifically for esports players.