For the first time at 1. FC Köln, the players from the eSport team are under contract themselves and no longer just borrowed. This is a change that holds many opportunities. One of them: 1. FC Köln is now also represented internationally.
Firmly under contract with 1. FC Köln: Tim ‘TheStrxngeR’ Katnawatos.
1. FC Cologne/Tim Katnawatos
Accuracy is a virtue. Anyone who read quickly about the tweet from Tim ‘TheStrxngeR’ Katnawatos could be quite irritated: “For the new season, I will switch permanently to 1. FC Köln” – for whom he had already played the previous season in the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship (VBL CC) completed. The magic word, admittedly to be skipped over quickly, is “solid” in this context.
So far it has been like this in FIFA eSport at 1. FC Köln: Effzeh had shares in SK Gaming, which in turn had FIFA eSporters under contract, which they loaned to 1. FC Köln for the national competition. This resulted in the picture that, for example, ‘TheStrxngeR’ played in VBL CC and in the DFB ePokal for 1. FC Köln, but for SK Gaming at international tournaments. That’s over now.
“Today we say goodbye to our competitive FIFA division,” tweeted SK Gaming on September 16, whereupon both ‘TheStrxngeR’ and Felix ‘Flexxooo’ Günther officially left SK Gaming. FC Köln to announce.
“I don’t think the difference for the players is that big. It is bigger for the Effzeh: The firm commitment of the players leads to a branding that is now both nationally and internationally uniform,” Peter ‘Petkus’ Schwab told kicker eSport , the long-time caster in VBL CC at 1. FC Köln.
With the integration of the new eSport team in the club, the Effzeh also meets the wishes of the DFB. He would have liked – so it is heard from the scene – to see more eSports departments in the clubs than for the clubs to borrow players from eSports organizations for national competitions.
Changes in the squad
For the upcoming FIFA 22 season, the Cologne team have also changed in key positions. Michael ‘XPhenomenoX’ Gehrmann had already announced his departure from SK at the end of July, and the coach and team manager under whom the players played at SK Gaming, Daniel Wagner, did not move to 1. FC Köln.
Lukas ‘Idealz’ Schmandt was brought on board as coach, he most recently worked for VfL Bochum.
In addition, Denis ‘Denis’ Müller was signed by the German champions in the VBL Club Championship 1. FC Heidenheim.
He wrote on Twitter: “Very proud to announce that I have signed with 1. FC Köln. Can’t wait for the new season and I’m doing my best to win as many titles as possible.” He was under contract with Leno eSports and loaned to Heidenheim.
“The Cologne team can play for the title,” says ‘Petkus’, who is also considered an expert in the scene, “the squad is strong enough for it”.
And now that 1. FC Köln has signed the players themselves, it doesn’t even matter whether the title is won in a national or international competition: the billy goat would definitely be seen on the jersey.