British competitive gaming culture brand EXCEL ESPORTS is excited to announce it has completed the biggest FIFA transfer ever, signing FIFA professional Tom ‘Tom’ Leese. Bursting into the scene at the ripe age of 17, Tom began competing online against other competitive players and pro players as a hobby before discovering his skills and passion for the game. Placing top six at his first tournament, the FIFA17 Ultimate Team Championship 2017, Tom went on to sign his first deal with professional team FUTWIZ. After finding his competitive feet and joining EXCEL coming off the back of winning the E-Premier League, Tom will bring undoubtedly entertaining content and his dedicated fan base across with him.
The competitive FIFA esports scene is rapidly growing, with the EA Sports FIFA 21 Challenge drawing in an average minute audience of 254,057 and a total watch time of 1.024 million hours, making the event the most-watched esports broadcast in history operated by EA, the game’s publisher. Now, the biggest transfer in competitive FIFA history is taking place with EXCEL signing the number one ranked FIFA player in the world for the last two years, Tom ‘Tom’ Leese.
The announcement marks the launch of EXCEL’s first competitive FIFA team as well as also signing renowned FIFA ex-professional Nathan “Zelonius” Horton as the team manager. One of the most popular games globally, the new signings will position EXCEL’s FIFA team as one of the strongest competitive teams internationally.
Boasting an already impressive competitive esports roster, including teams who compete in Fortnite and League of Legends, EXCEL’s move into FIFA was a natural progression for the outspoken British esports brand, especially with its current ambassador, professional footballer Dele Alli. An opportunity to celebrate and highlight UK based FIFA talent at competitive tournaments globally, EXCEL will be creating engaging video and social media content as well as community activities for its new roster offering. The expansion into the FIFA esports space also allows EXCEL the opportunity to connect with FIFA’s fast-growing fanbase, which will be new territory for the esports brand.
Aligning with their future ambitions for further developing a highly-anticipated competitive FIFA platform globally, EXCEL will also work closely with EA and participating teams to drive more exposure in media and in-game assets, including offering fans an exclusive EXCEL ESPORTS out-of-game kit. The new kit will include a new EXCEL ESPORTS jersey, complete with the addition of new partner EE, following a recent expansion of EXCEL’s partnership with BT.
Originally a teacher who posted educational articles on FIFA Reddit during his spare time, Nathan “Zelonius” Horton begun streaming and playing full time after his following grew over five years ago. Shortly after playing full time, Zelonius qualified for his first tournament and was signed with FUTWIZ. Joining the team with the aim to help EXCEL become the most successful FIFA team in the world, Zelonius believes together, they will have the right infrastructure to achieve this goal.
EXCEL has also bought on distinguished sports and celebrity photographer David Ellis to help develop the creative direction for the players and team. Having photographed some of the most influential athletes globally, including the likes of Jack Grealish, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, David will bring a wealth of creative experience to EXCEL. Through his imagery, David will help to shape the identity of EXCEL’s players visually and create bold statements across EXCEL’s apparel lines and campaigns, to ensure the organisation stands out as no esports team has done before.
CEO of EXCEL ESPORTS, Wouter Sleijffers comments: “We are thrilled to announce to the EXCEL community our launch into the competitive FIFA space, as well as the signings of Tom and Zelonius. We have been following the competitive FIFA community for a while now and believe it’s an area where we can strive, especially within the UK and Europe.
“Bringing on some of the best talents that the competitive UK FIFA scene has to offer, alongside the incredible David Ellis to capture it all, we can’t wait to see what Tom and Zelonius bring to the team and look forward to seeing them dominating the scene. We are also excited to be announcing some more FIFA news to fans shortly!”
FIFA professional Tom ‘Tom’ Leese comments: “I am proud to be joining the EXCEL team as their first-ever professional FIFA signing! When EXCEL first approached me, the idea of working together definitely caught my attention. The drive within the EXCEL team to constantly improve and the commitment to jumping straight into the competitive FIFA space really excites me.
“I want to take my competitive performance and content up another gear and continue to build myself and the growing team whilst doing this, and I feel EXCEL is the perfect place for me to do this. I believe we both share a vision and drive to establish ourselves as a leading team in the scene and I’m looking forward to making that happen!”
FIFA manager Nathan “Zelonius” Horton comments: “I am excited to be announced as the manager of EXCEL’s first FIFA team! I truly believe in the vision of this FIFA team and think it is a really exciting team to be joining. I can’t wait to help EXCEL to become the most successful team in FIFA – especially with some exciting upcoming announcements.
“I also really resonate with EXCEL’s power of better. As a content creator in FIFA I’ve had numerous in-depth conversations with viewers where I’ve been able to help them and using the platform I have at EXCEL and the great tools we have here I really want to do the best I can to embody this manifesto.”
Pete Jeavons, Director of Marketing Communications at EE, said: “We’re the UK’s best network for gaming and partner to the home of football Wembley Stadium connected by EE; so expanding our sponsorship to see EE partner with EXCEL’s first competitive FIFA team is something we’re hugely excited about.
“As well as showing our support for the team by adding EE to the new EXCEL ESPORTS jersey, we will be working with EXCEL over the coming months to use our partnership and our technology to bring gaming fans even closer to the action, so watch this space.”