West Ham have become the first club in the UK to sign a professional video game competitor by employing esports player Sean Allen.
Allen, 24, who is known by his gaming name Dragonn, will represent the Hammers at Fifa video game tournaments.
He was runner-up at this year’s 2016 Fifa Interactive World Cup.
Allen, who has been given squad number 50 and will wear a Hammers shirt at events, said: “This is the biggest thing ever to happen to me.”
Professional esports players compete in tournaments involving a wide-range of different games, such as League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, with some offering prize pots of millions of pounds.
Fifa tournaments tend to offer less money, with this year’s Fifa Interactive World Cup winner taking $20,000 (£13,850) at the grand final in New York, after 1.2 million people had entered.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic said: “This is a big move for West Ham United. I have heard that Sean is a big player in the esports arena so I am delighted we have managed to secure his services.
“I hope he can now go on to represent the club with pride across the globe – he will certainly have the support of all the lads whenever he dons the claret and blue.”