Orlando Pirates has become another South Africa professional football club after Kaizer Chiefs to go for its first venture into the eSports arena by announcing its official FIFA eSports team.
According to the club, for the first year, Orlando Pirates will focus its eSports energies on Electronic Arts franchise FIFA and will later look to moving into the more popular eSports segments such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and/or Dota.
The 2017 Orlando Pirates eSports team consists of a total ten contracted players.
The Club will power the eSports division and offer support for training, events and provide eSports-related logistical knowledge and support.
Tokoloho Moeketsi, brand activation manager commented, “The eSports industry is exploding and there is a huge talent pool in South Africa with untapped potential,” said Moeketsi, “We have noticed that the level of professionalism in eSports has continued to grow over the past years and as Orlando Pirates we feel that now is the right time to enter this industry.”
The team will be captained by 3-time FIWC contender Abubakar Akhalwaya, who said: “This is a journey that has taken about three years with the Club. I am very happy to be part of this new venture and look forward to being part of the Orlando Pirates eSports family.”
The club was founded in 1937 and was originally based in Orlando, Soweto.
Orlando Pirates are the first club since the inception of the Premier Soccer League in 1996 to have won three major trophies in a single season back to back, having won the domestic league ABSA Premiership, the FA Cup Nedbank Cup and the Top 8 Cup MTN 8 during the ABSA Premiership 2010–11 season and domestic league ABSA Premiership, the League Cup Telkom Knockout and the Top 8 Cup MTN 8 during the ABSA Premiership 2011–12 season.
They are the one of the only two South African teams with Mamelodi Sundowns to win the CAF Champions League, which they won in 1995. They are the runners-up of 2015 CAF Confederation Cup.
Meanwhile, Pirates on last September signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Ford South Africa.The club confirmed the news on their Twitter account: “Orlando Pirates is proud to announce our new partnership with @FordSouthAfrica. We look forward to the journey!”
Last month the team announced the arrival of head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic to the club.
The arrival of head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic at the club has seen the Buccaneers make a strong start to the 2017/18 Absa Premiership season.
After six matches they find themselves in third spot on 11 points, just one point off the summit (Pending their next game when they take on Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, September 30).
It has also been reported that Pirates beat their arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in signing the partnership deal.