It seems only fitting that an MLS franchise that boasts a 17-year-old phenom in midfielder Alphonso Davies would dip into the high school ranks for its pro gamer.
On Monday, the Vancouver Whitecaps unveiled 17-year-old Erfan Hosseini as their first official eMLS representative. Hosseini is expected to be the youngest competitor at the inaugural eMLS Cup at the PAX East gaming festival in Boston in April.
“It feels amazing. It’s a dream come true to be able to represent your hometown team and be able to play the game that I love at the same time,” Hosseini said in an interview.
Hosseini, a senior at Moscrop Secondary School, will be introduced to Whitecaps fans at Vancouver’s March 24 match at B.C. Place against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“Vancouver is a major hub for the gaming industry, so we are very excited to be a part of the inaugural eMLS Cup,” Whitecaps CEO Rachel Lewis said in a statement. “Erfan is a young, charismatic local gamer who has grown up as a ‘Caps fan. We’re looking forward to cheering him on this April.”
Some 19 MLS clubs have committed to take part in the eMLS Cup with the winner advancing to EA Sports “FIFA 18” Global Series Playoff, and possibly the FIFA eWorld Cup in August.
Phil Balke will represent Toronto FC while Lyes Ould-Ramoul will carry the Montreal Impact colours.
Hosseini, who goes by the gaming moniker Skill Shack, was the winner of the Whitecaps FC live FIFA 17 Tournament last August. The team says he comes recommended by FIFA esports analyst and commentator Chu (ChuBoi) Morah, a former EA Sports community manager.
The successful “FIFA 18” franchise is developed in suburban Burnaby.
Born in Shiraz, Iran, Hosseini moved to Canada when he was eight. He says he has always been a fan of playing soccer, but found others outgrew him on the field. So he took his love for the game to the gaming console.
He found he had a knack for it.
A fan of Brazil’s Ronaldo, Hosseini says he favours a Brazilian playing style. His go-to player these days is Brazilian star Neymar.
Hosseini’s new gig as the Whitecaps resident gamer …read more