Southampton Football Club has announced the signing of its first full-time esports player: Owen Venn.
The English Premier League club says it’s excited to be ‘entering the world of esports by aiding Owen’s progression’.
22-year-old Owen, who will play under the gamer tag SaintsVenny, will represent the club on a full-time basis in the pro gaming world, playing FIFA 20 tournaments throughout the year including the 2019/20 ePremier League.
Venny already played for Southampton in the first ePremier League, where he made it to the semi-finals of the PS4 bracket and qualified for the eChampions League.
This latest move sees the Saints hire him as their first full-time player and are paying him a monthly wage to represent them in esports competitions. They will give him access to their support staff to ensure he’s in the best mental and physical state to compete, and plan on running a content series in the new year, telling his story.
Southampton Football Club’s Marketing Director, Luke Nicholson, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome Venny as our first official esports player.
“As a club, we take great pride in our digital output, and we are always striving to connect and engage with fans and different audiences in new and exciting ways. Becoming more involved in esports, which is an area that has seen tremendous growth in recent years, gives us another opportunity to do this.
The club’s support of Owen will also see it endeavor to assist him in areas away from gaming, such as sports psychology, nutrition and fitness, as he bids to follow the club’s philosophy of turning potential into excellence and adopt a number of practices used in professional sports.
For Owen himself, the PS4 specialist is pleased to officially align himself with the club as he looks to further his development within the professional gaming world.
He said: “I am proud to be signing for Southampton as their first ever FIFA esports player.
“I have big ambitions for my career and feel that the club can offer me the support I need to take my career to the next level. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.