It's been a great year for FIFA esports. More football clubs have entered the burgeoning space, the FIFA Interactive World Cup had a higher prize pool (with an English winner) and FIFA 18 is about to launch.
We interview Kieran Sanford, the founder of new FIFA esports scouting and talent agency ForF1faSake about the opportunities in the space and what his agency offers.
Tell us about your agency - what sets you guys apart, what do you offer and when were you set up?
ForF1faSake is an esports scouting agency specialising in the game title FIFA. We're in place to help secure fantastic opportunities for talented FIFA players who are currently playing competitive FIFA. We also help them grow their individual brand and get them known in the esports world if they aren't already. We also go into professional football clubs and organisations to educate why the concept esports would be great for their brand.
There's so much talent out there and at the moment but only a portion of it is getting noticed. So we're here to do all we can to get them noticed! We're a fairly new agency and looking to expand fairly quickly. With our connections and experience in the football world already this should help our expansion.
What is it about FIFA that made you want to focus on that game in particular, what opportunities are there in this space?
I'm a huge FIFA gamer and football fan myself, so with my experience in the industry and passion for it I thought it was a no brainier for me. Also with the amount of growth FIFA esports has had in the last 12 months is remarkable and that will continue to grow. A big thing in every football club is fan engagement, so esports allows them to do this. Especially with their younger fans.
"There's so much talent out there and at the moment but only a portion of it is getting noticed."
Please let us know which players are on your roster and/or what kind of players you are looking for?
We're speaking to many players at present due to confidential reasons we can't announce them yet. But when it is announced I'm sure people will be familiar with some of them.
We're working with and looking for players who are talented FIFA players and want to gain fantastic opportunities at reputable football clubs and brands across the world. We have plans and will soon be announcing trial tournaments for people who want to prove themselves in the market.
Do you think there's a big opportunity for esports players and talent to sign more sponsorship deals?
100%. Esports as an industry is growing rapidly and the money getting invested into it is also increasing, as seen with the FIFA Interactive World Cup. The prize money was 10 times larger this year compared to last year.
With esports being rumoured to be at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, you've got to think: what brand doesn't want to involved in an industry with the potential marketing spread like that? Also, it's just a great industry for brands to look into now. It's booming at the moment and that will only continue.
What are your views on the FIFA space and football clubs investing in esports?
I believe the FIFA space at the moment is in a good place and since the addition of FUT Champions it's only taking competitive gaming to the next level. It gives people who started playing FIFA as a hobby easy access to be noticed to the esports world.
In terms of football clubs investing in esports, I believe there's huge advantages for both parties. For footballs clubs it gives them access to a great marketing opportunity and also the chance to emerge into new global markets.
There's no reason why FIFA esports players in the future can't be at the same level as professional football players. With football clubs investing in esports only helps the industry grow even quicker.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
We're happy to speak to anyone and give advice on how they can break into the esports industry. We also have a Free Esports Online Booklet called 'How to be a pro' which gives tips and great advice on how to start a career in esports. I definately recommended that's something they check out.
We have advice from pro esports players and professional football clubs who are already invested in esports. To get access to this all you need to do is message us on Twitter @ForF1FASake