A prominent name in the football world, ACF Fiorentina unveiled they're entering the world of esports with the creation of Fiorentina esports in partnership with Hexon esports.
The Viola's entry into esports was unveiled earlier on Friday, February 28, with a blog post on the team's official website, where it was revealed Fiorentina esports will initially field competitors in both FIFA and eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer.
Fiorentina esports will field Giovanni “Giovhy69” Salvaggio for FIFA and Angelo “Tipolosco319” Giannino for PES as the two inaugural members of the newly established squad. The team will, however, look to add two more FIFA players to its ranks in the upcoming eSerie A TIM Draft, which will take place at the end of March.
Tipolosco319 is a rising PES player, whose best career results so far was a top 6-87 finish at eFootBall Open 2019/2020. Giovhy69, on the other side, is one of the best FIFA players in Italy, having gained international recognition with his top nine finish at the FIFA 19 FUT Champions Cup 3. In 2019, Giovhy69 also climbed to the 82nd spot in global rankings, solidifying himself as the third-best Italian FIFA pro.
Giovhy69 already made his debut for Fiorentina esports at the FUT Champions Cup Stage at the FIFA 20 Global Series, which took place on Saturday, February 29.
“Our move into eSports represents another step forward for our club as we look to focus increasingly on digital and the world of eSports, which are so popular with the younger generations around the world," said Jope Barone, General Director of ACF Fiorentina.
“With the support of a young, successful company like Hexon, we’ll build a competitive team which helps to promote Fiorentina among international eSports communities, bringing these people closer to our club."
The news of Fiorentina's entry into the esports scene comes shortly after its fellow Italian football club - Juventus FC joined the eFootball League ahead of the competition's second season back in December 2019. Unlike Fiorentina, however, Juventus teamed up with the world-renown Astralis Group to operate its team.
More recently, we also saw Inter Milan make its entry into the esports scene, when they joined forces with an Italian esports organisation QLASH to form a FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer teams.
“The move into the world of esports is an important step in Inter’s brand development,” stated Inter Milan Corporate CEO Alessandro Antonello.
"The creation of an esports team is indicative of the constant work our club does to maintain a competitive presence across the board, with a particular focus on the interests of new generations. The esports phenomenon is growing all the time, with 1.2 million fans in Italy alone."
With the eSerie A league on the way, we could expect more Italian clubs to follow suit and form their own esports teams, which would not only help with the growth of the esports scene as a whole but also translate the long-standing rivalries between the football teams on the pitch into the digital world, adding some more excitement to the FIFA and PES football scene.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.