Update (October 5th 2021): Excel has also resigned another British FIFA player, and former eWorld Cup champion, Spencer ‘Gorilla’ Ealing.
Gorilla has been playing FIFA since 2003 and actually previously competed with Excel back in 2015, before moving to the likes of FaZe Clan.
Spencer ‘Gorilla’ Ealing commented: “I am thrilled to be joining the Excel team again! I am hoping to make Excel my new long term home and believe the endless support I receive from the team will help me to reach my goal – which is to win.
“It’s great that Excel believes in me and I’m really looking forward to building something special with the team. A lot of players would dream to play for Excel and I feel very lucky and excited to be here.”
Professional footballer and Excel ambassador Dele Alli added: “It’s great to see Excel moving into the competitive FIFA scene. I have been playing FIFA in my spare time for a while now and love the game, so I’m excited to see where this new chapter will take them.
“Excel made history by completing the first-ever FIFA transfer fee with Tom ‘Tom’ Leese and now signing Gorilla, I am looking forward to watching them dominate the FIFA scene.”
Original article (September 24th 2021):
UK esports organisation Excel Esports has signed British professional FIFA player Tom ‘Tom’ Leese in what’s being labelled the biggest FIFA esports transfer signing ever.
Tom joins Excel from fellow UK org Hashtag United, which last month said they received two offers for the England international, reported to be in the region of £50,000 to £100,000.
The signing marks the launch of Excel Esports’ first competitive FIFA team, joining their operations in League of Legends, Valorant and Fortnite.
Today’s announcement is also accompanied by the organisation signing FIFA ex-professional Nathan ‘Zelonius’ Horton as the team manager (pictured, behind Tom). Excel will also reveal a second player joining the squad soon.
The team have also bought on renowned sports and celebrity photographer David Ellis, who has previously shot the likes of Jack Grealish, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The move into FIFA seemed like a natural progression for the UK org, especially with its current ambassador, professional footballer Dele Alli, who joined Excel Esports late last year.
Excel will also work closely with EA and participating teams to drive more exposure in media and in-game assets, including offering fans an exclusive Excel out-of-game kit. The new kit will include a new Excel jersey, complete with the addition of new partner EE, following a recent expansion of Excel’s partnership with BT.
Tom Leese (formerly known as Hashtag Tom) has been the number one ranked FIFA player in the world for the last two years. Bursting into the scene at the ripe age of 17, Tom began competing online against other competitive players and placed top six at his first tournament, the FIFA17 Ultimate Team Championship 2017, before going on to sign his first deal with professional team Futwiz.
Tom Leese won the ePremier League representing Watford last year and is part of the eLions.
Tom Leese said: “I am proud to be joining the Excel team as their first-ever professional FIFA signing! When Excel first approached me, the idea of working together definitely caught my attention. The drive within the Excel team to constantly improve and the commitment to jumping straight into the competitive FIFA space really excites me.
“I want to take my competitive performance and content up another gear and continue to build myself and the growing team whilst doing this, and I feel Excel is the perfect place for me to do this. I believe we both share a vision and drive to establish ourselves as a leading team in the scene and I’m looking forward to making that happen!”
CEO of Excel Esports, Wouter Sleijffers, added: “We are thrilled to announce to the Excel community our launch into the competitive FIFA space, as well as the signings of Tom and Zelonius. We have been following the competitive FIFA community for a while now and believe it’s an area where we can strive, especially within the UK and Europe.”
More Excel Esports updates:
- Excel Esports appoints people and culture manager Abi Odell
- Excel Esports commercial team doubles in size
- LEC Summer 2021 standings and playoff teams confirmed: Excel Esports miss out on playoffs again after tough match versus G2, as Vitality claim sixth place
See this story in video form and get the views of ENUK editor Dom Sacco:
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.