When eSports and the real world collide

Last summer, a Bundesliga football team from a small German town in Lower Saxony made signing history. Among the other high profile signings toVfL Wolfsburg FCduring a turbulent off-season transfer window, was a name completely unknown to pundits; Benedikt ‘SaLz0r’ Saltzer. Saltzer was not a rookie, fresh from the academies, nor was he scouted at a local park. For the first time in professional football, the team took on a player who would not kick a single ball in his career with the club.

The 23-year-old, instead, represents The Wolves on virtual soil, as the first player in their FIFA 16eSportsdivision. And, as of last week, Wolfsburg have also acquired David ‘DaveBtw’ Bytheway, runner-up at 2014’s FIFA Interactive World Cup. The runners-up of last year’s Bundesliga are the first to jump into a widening niche in the sportsgaming sphere, one of combining the traditional competitions games are inspired by with tournaments of their own. The eSports-sports singularity is approaching.

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