Colorado Rapids Soccer Club announced on Wednesday the signing of Connor Buckley as the club’s first competitive gamer. Buckley, who has an impressive 75,000-plus followers on Twitch, will represent the club at eMLS Cup, a qualifying event for the EA SPORTS Global Series Playoffs on the Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup.
“As an organization, we are always looking for new ways to engage our fans," said Wayne Brant, SVP of business operations. "We look forward to seeing the type of content Connor can create, as well as watching him represent the club in competitive play.”
Originally from Tempe, Arizona, Buckley, 23, took up playing soccer at a young age, eventually earning a scholarship to play at Menlo College, a private, four-year institution in Silicon Valley. But despite his impressive performances on the field, it was in digital arena where Buckley found his calling. In 2017, he was captain of “Team Twitch” at the inaugural Kappa Cup in London, England. In addition, Buckley was voted the Red Bull Games FIFA Streamer of the Year in 2017.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to join the club," Buckley said, "When the Rapids first contacted me, I was shocked and now that the dust has settled a bit I’m at a place where I just can’t wait to get started.
"Being chosen as the club’s first professional esports player is a tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to representing the Rapids with pride.”
Major League Soccer has entered the competitive gaming arena, partnering with EA Sports on the creation of eMLS, a new competitive EA Sports FIFA 18 league which will feature the best FIFA 18 players from the US and Canada vying for a chance to become world champions.
The inaugural edition of the eMLS Cup will take place in Boston this April at the popular gaming culture festival PAX East. The event will determine the US and Canada qualifiers to the EA Sports FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs for a berth to August’s FIFA eWorld Cup.