IRVINE, Calif. (September 10, 2018) – Orange County Soccer Club announced today that it has signed Mike Culp (PSN gamertag: Da_Culprit) to manage the organization’s new eSports team. Culp, an avid soccer fan and FIFA gamer will head general management and coaching for the club’s FIFA 11v11 squad as well as join the roster as its first player.
Just last week, Orange County SC announced the creation of its eSports team which is the first of its kind in US pro soccer and United Soccer League (USL) history—team announcement: https://bit.ly/2CHfSEm. Signing Culp is another first, with more news to come in the following weeks as Orange County begins to build out its eSports team as its physical world team already making franchise history by breaking wins and points records this USL season.
“We’re excited to be part of the eSports world, and to build a team that has fun competing together and proudly represents our club,” said Orange County SC Owner & President James A. Keston. “Signing a local gamer and soccer fan as our first manager and player was a huge priority for us. We believe Mike will be a key contributor to Orange County SC eSports, and he will be integral to helping us create a dynamic FIFA team in conjunction with the launch of FIFA 19.”
Culp, a long-time Orange County resident with years of experience both playing EA Sports’ FIFA competitively and managing eSports teams in Virtual Pro Gaming’s (VPG) league, is already beginning the recruitment process for Orange County SC eSports with open tryouts as well as invitationals scheduled to start this week. The squad will be constructed over the next few months and prepare to compete in friendly matches and league play as early as October.
“It's surreal to say the least… an honor being chosen as the inaugural manager/player for OCSC eSports, being able to represent my hometown club: Orange County SC,” said new Orange County SC eSports Team Manager Mike Culp. “Being backed by a top USL club that supports eSports and actively reaches out to its fanbase via FIFA Pro Clubs is ideal. OCSC has gone above and beyond in making me feel like I'm a part of the family.”
“I'm excited for the opportunity to build something great with top FIFA Pro Clubs players, both local and international, and compete with the best clubs in FIFA 19. This is an exciting time for Orange County SC, the USL as well as VPG, and I'm glad that I get to be part of it.”
Watch Culp’s signing and interview, below, which included the presentation of a personalized team jersey by Keston and Orange County SC Head Coach Braeden Cloutier.
Gamers who think they have what it takes to represent Orange County SC eSports will be able to take part in the team’s open tryouts, which begin this week. Additional dates and times will be announced on OCSC eSports social media pages when scheduled.
If you are selected to tryout, you will be notified via e-mail with instructions. According to Culp, beyond tryout results all selected players will demonstrate the following qualities.
Once the squad roster is complete and VPG season is underway in October, the Orange County SC eSports team will play matches on a regular basis. Matches will be streamed live via Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/ocsc_esports), Facebook (@ocscesports) and Twitter (@ocscesports) pages for free. For more details, please visit https://www.orangecountysoccer.com/esports.
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ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY SOCCER CLUB
Orange County Soccer Club is Orange County’s only professional soccer team that is part of the United Soccer League (USL), the fastest growing Division II professional soccer league in the world. The USL is comprised of 34 teams across the United States. The team plays its home games at the Orange County Great Park’s Championship Soccer Stadium, located in Irvine, CA. Nestled in the heart of the Great Park, Championship Soccer Stadium has a capacity of over 5,000 for Orange County SC matches. Orange County SC is also the official affiliate partner of the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise. Orange County SC was one of 12 founding members of the USL during its inaugural 2011 season. The preceding club, Orange County Blues, won the 2015 Western Conference Regular Season Championship and reached the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the USL Playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Team owner and Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, James Keston, purchased and re-branded the team in 2017. Keston, who actively oversees all operations of the team, is dedicated to providing a pathway to professional soccer and a world-class soccer organization that focuses on the fans, players and youth clubs of Orange County.
For more information about Orange County Soccer Club, and to experience professional soccer in the OC, visit: http://www.orangecountysoccer.com. For more information about the United Soccer League, visit: http://www.uslsoccer.com.