IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County Soccer Club is leading the USL into the world of eSports.
On Tuesday, the franchise announced the creation of an 11v11 FIFA team that will participate in the Virtual Pro Gaming (VPG) league beginning in October 2018.
Orange County SC’s virtual squad is the first eSports franchise in USL history and will be the first in U.S. professional soccer to field a full team of 11 players. eMLS, which launched in January and featured 19 teams in its inaugural campaign, is limited to 1v1 gameplay on the vastly popular EA Sports franchise.
“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,” Orange County SC Owner & President James A. Keston said in a press release. “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.”
VPG’s FIFA 11v11 league currently has over 2,200 teams worldwide with active players representing over 110 countries.
Orange County SC will hold official tryouts for its eSports team in September.