In the past twelve months Esports Insider has kept a close eye on the growing trend of sporting professionals, and in particular footballers, entering the esports industry. As such we invited Premier League winner Christian Fuchs to discuss his venture at ESI London in September. Having started his own brand, NoFuchsGiven, initially a streetwear and apparel brand which he has expanded into this new realm, there was no better person to talk about the converge of traditional sports and esports.
Here’s some of what went down during the ‘Blurred lines: why footballers are entering esports‘ session.
Christian Fuchs, NoFuchsGiven & Leicester City FC
Trev Keave, Co-founder of Sportego
Christian Fuchs was the first Premier League footballer to launch an esports team, and as it turns out, it’s all down to his son. Following Fortnite and Overwatch religiously, he was begging his father to get into the scene. Fuchs looked further into the phenomenon and recognised a serious opportunity. That was six months ago.
“With my expertise, with my experience, I can help them with some tips with how I cope with high-pressure situations.” – Christian Fuchs
As with most footballers and football clubs, Fuchs’ natural tendency was to enter the industry via FIFA. He believes the pressures present in football are very similar to that in FIFA, so he can help his players on a competitive level.
When questioned by a member of the audience as to whether NoFuchsGiven will expand into any other esports titles, he played it coy. He wants to see growth with his team over the course of his first year as a team owner, but acknowledges the pressure from his son to enter both Fortnite and Overwatch.
“It’s definitely worth looking into those titles, but I want to grow organically.” – Christian Fuchs
Fuchs believes more Premier League footballers will invest in esports over the next couple of years, and even mentioned a rumoured, unannounced ‘ePremier League’. He also commended games such as NBA 2K and Madden for doing something similar to FIFA in terms of the parallels within the traditional sports and their digital adaptations.
Wrapping up the session, Fuchs answered a particularly pressing question: do esports and traditional sports need each other at all? He pointed to the likes of the London Spitfire as evidence that esports doesn’t necessarily need ties to sports in any way. However, the commonalities between football and FIFA will likely help him grow the NoFuchsGiven brand.
You can watch content from our flagship ESI London conference over on our Esports Insider YouTube channel