Will the age old PES v FIFA battle be reignited in competitive gaming? It seems FC Schalke 04 believes in the potential of the Konami title. The club have announced the acquisition of Germany’s top ranked player in the Pro Evolution Soccer player Lennart “LENNAO” Albrecht.
LENNAO won the 2016 German Championship and with his new club his initial focus will be on qualifying for the PES League, organised by developers Konami, which boasts a significant prize pool of $200,000 (£159,000).
Discussing his move, Albrecht stated: “It is an honour to me being singed as the first PES player for a football club, and playing for Schalke from now on. Along the signing comes great expectations of me, which is why my focus is on the upcoming second season, starting end of February.
“It will be all about the qualification for World Championship but I am sure with my experiences and the ideal training conditions offered by the club, I have high chances of success.”
In terms of football clubs in esports, in many ways Schalke is leading by example. They haven’t gone the route that many have taken in terms of only signing a player in FIFA; they’ve invested in a League of Legends outfit, signed coaches, built a training facility and now added a PES player too.
Tim Reichert, Head of Esports at Schalke 04 commented: “Lennart is a skilled senior player with a lot of expert knowledge about the scene for which we are happy to have him on board.
“With Pro Evolution Soccer we extend our Esports portfolio by a title that inspires football fans and gamers from all over the world alike. Our mission in this field is to implement a professional training ground which is why we plan to extend our Esports training center with further disciplines this year.”
Esports Insider says: As of right now PES is a long, long from an established esports title, but 2017 appears to be the year in which both EA and Konami are making something of a serious attempt at enhancing the competitive gaming aspect of their titles. Best of luck to Lennao and Schalke 04.