West Ham United's eSports signing has generated massive media coverage

West Ham United has become the first Premier League football club to sign an eSports player – and the news story has blown up online.
The club announced it has signed Sean “Dragonn” Allen, formerly of exceL eSports, who was runner-up in the FIFA Interactive World Cup in March.
The 24-year-old Brit narrowly missed out on lifting the trophy, after losing to Mohamad Al-Bacha who scored a winning goal in the last minute of the game.
While it’s not the first time a British FIFA player has joined an actual football club (David “Davebtw” Bytheway plays for Wolfsburg), it’s the first Premier League club to do so. And the story has generated a lot of headlines, both in the national press and the specialist games media, as well as tech sites like Engadget.
It’s been picked up by the following publications to name a few:

While it’s not a publication as such, well-known gaming forum NeoGaf also picked up the story.
Most of the articles didn’t have any comments at all, but the comments on Eurogamer were largely positive.
It’s fantastic to see a story like this getting some mainstream media coverage, and while there’s no doubt the West Ham name helped the story get picked up, it bodes well for the future of eSports in the UK.


As other British football clubs sign players, more coverage will be given and, in turn, hopefully help competitive gaming get some widespread recognition and acceptance.
Dragonn played his first FIFA match in a West Ham shirt on the weekend at the Gfinity Arena Play Like a Legend tournament. That competition was won by Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing – one of the UK’s highest-earning eSports pros – who beat Dragonn in the quarter-final.
“I am delighted to be joining West Ham United as their official eSports player,” said Dragonn. “This is a massive move forward for me. I have been playing competitive FIFA for a very long time and this is the biggest thing ever to happen to me.
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic added: “This is a big move for West Ham United. I have heard that Sean is a big player in the eSports arena so I am delighted that we have managed to secure his services.
“I hope he can now go on to represent the club with pride across the globe – he will certainly have the support of all the lads whenever he dons the claret and blue.”

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[…] are the latest football club to embrace eSports, after West Ham signed pro FIFA player Sean "Dragonn" Allen last month and German Bundesliga club Schalke acquired a League of Legends team. Spanish side […]

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[…] won't be long until most of the established football clubs in the UK have their own eSports players (even West Ham have one). But is this just a new marketing gimmick for them, or a genuine interest in eSports for the […]

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[…] FIFA pro Sean "Dragonn" Allen (now playing for West Ham) finished runner-up in the 2016 FIFA Interactive World Cup earlier this […]

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