Chicago Fire Expands Competitive Gaming Roster with Signing of Enrique Espinoza
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - The Chicago Fire Soccer Club on Wednesday announced the signing of Chicago-based gamer Enrique Espinoza to its competitive gaming roster. Espinoza joins returning gamer Edhem Jukovic on the club's squad and will represent the Fire in an expanded 2019 eMLS schedule, beginning later this month at eMLS League Series One presented by PlayStation in Los Angeles.
Known by his gamer tag BITW18 II, Espinoza regularly ranks among North and South America's top-100 competitors in monthly FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) Champions competition, peaking at No. 61 in November. In addition to being an avid gamer, Espinoza also has served as a coach for the Chicago Fire Juniors City U-10 Boys club soccer program for the last four years.
Jukovic, known by his gamer tag HekTic JukeZ, returns this year after competing as the Fire's inaugural eMLS player in 2018. Like Espinoza, Jukovic is an internationally ranked competitor -- climbing as high as No. 10 in March 2018 -- and will continue to represent the club in online Weekend League and Global Series events. Jukovic also will serve as a local ambassador and FIFA19 expert.
"Competitive gaming at the league level continues to be an exciting area of growth for Major League Soccer and the Chicago Fire," said Chicago Fire COO John Urban. "We're thrilled to be represented in eMLS by two Chicago natives with close personal ties to the club, both of whom are FIFA experts with the ability to compete at the highest levels. They have our club's full support as they pursue excellence within eMLS and the greater EA SPORTS FIFA19 Global Series."
Following the inaugural League Series event, Espinoza also will be among the 22 eMLS gamers competing at next month's League Series Two in Dallas and at the second-annual eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation.
Each event will include participation from all eMLS professional FIFA players, with prizes awarded for performance in each series. Additionally, performance across the two eMLS League Series events will determine seeding for the 2019 eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation.
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