Orange County SC announced this week they will be launching an eSports team, to play FIFA 19 in the Virtual Pro Gaming (VPG) league. They will be the first USL team to embark on a eSports venture like this.
The Orange County SC eSports team will be involved in VPG gameplay, in which teams of 11 gamers will face other 11-player teams in playing a single match at a time. This is distinct from competitions such as eMLS, which features single gamers controlling a team against other individual gamers.
“I have been playing FIFA games for more than 20 years on multiple platforms,” said Orange County SC owner James Keston in a team statement. “As the world of video games increasingly evolves into both a group activity and a spectator sport, it seems like a natural progression for 11 individual gamers, each controlling one player and communicating with one another, to truly act as a team. With our new eSports team, anyone with a PlayStation 4 can now experience the excitement and teamwork that we at Orange County SC work tirelessly to cultivate every day as the only professional soccer team between Long Beach and Tijuana.”
Now, one of the immediate questions I had regarding this news was whether Orange County SC and USL more broadly will be officially part of FIFA 19, which will be released later this month. An Orange County SC spokesperson confirmed to Angels on Parade that in fact, no, USL teams won’t be in FIFA 19 officially, but the team is “creating custom kits using the feature included with FIFA 19...These kits are designed to match our physical team’s kits as closely as the feature will allow.”
Tryouts for the eSports team will be coming soon, with details set to be released in the coming days, and the team will begin league play for VPG in October. You can find more information about the new eSports team on Orange County SC’s website.
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