One of the largest football teams in the German Bundesliga, FC Schalke 04, has dug deeper into the world of esports this week by announcing the new members of their squad: a professional FIFA (the video game) team.
In a post on their website, the Bundesliga club revealed the recruitment of two players, Mario Viska and Cihan Yasarlan. The two players have earned a bevy of titles throughout Europe, with Viska in particular a six-time champion in Austria and Germany.
Tim Reichert, head of esports for FC Schalke, reminded everyone that the club's association with esports only properly began a month ago. "FIFA has given us a new opportunity to get into closer contact with the German eSports scene," he said.
"That’s why we are hoping that we get support from the S04 fans. We will be offering regular interactive events with the players such as boot camps and meet and greets. The long-term aim is to create a new standard in the way that the world of eSports is perceived by the public."
The move takes esports another step towards mainstream recognition, and it's another indication of traditional sports being more than happy to align itself — and invest in — with esports.