Manchester City expand into Chinese esports market

Manchester City has become the first Premier League club to launch a FIFA Online team in China. The team will compete in the Online Star League which kicks off its latest season on June 15th, 2018.

Manchester City will sign five players to their new FIFA Online roster, including last season’s most valuable player, Zhang Jun, they will also sign Aruya and Liu Chao, who have been top performers in the past two seasons. The remaining two slots will be filled by two new players who will be selected via a nationwide competition run by Man City. The competition is open to supporters in China who can register their interest and find out more information by following the club on WeChat at “mcfcofficial“.

Speaking about the new signings, David Tang, Regional Director for China at Manchester City said: “We are delighted to enter the exciting world of gaming in China, the biggest market in the world for esports. Our new FIFA Online team comes in addition to our dedicated esports players at Manchester City, as well as at our sister clubs New York City and Melbourne City, highlighting Manchester City’s and the wider City Football Group’s commitment to both esports and our growing fan base in China.”

Shulun Gai, Executive at Tencent added: “It’s great to see Manchester City’s commitment to esports grow with their entry into the Chinese gaming market. Manchester City has already made a significant contribution to the esports industry. They were one of the first Premier League clubs to sign a professional esports player and the digital content and fan experiences they have created since then have been unparalleled.

He continued: “FIFA Online is incredibly popular across China, and it is an exciting prospect for us to have an esports team in China, which supporters can identify with the reigning Premier League Champions. The new season starts very soon, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for FIFA Online.”

Esports Insider says: Manchester City and the City brand are huge across the world, with clubs in Australia, USA, England, with both men’s and woman’s teams. So it’s really not a surprise to see Man City become the first team to land in China and start making moves into their rapidly growing esports market. Giving the final two slots up to fans is also a nice touch and it might uncover a future FIFA star that would not have come out the woodwork without this competition.