Hashtag United Set To Become First Football Club To Receive Transfer Fee For FIFA Player
Transfers fees in mainstream football have reached astronomical heights in recent years, with the likes of Jack Grealish breaking the English record in his £100million move to Manchester City.
Tom Leese, of Hashtag United (a non-league football club in Essex, England), is now set to make history and become the first-ever esports player in FIFA to be sold to another club for a hefty transfer fee of up to £100,000.
According to Sky Sports, the highly decorated FIFA player has had numerous bids from unnamed clubs, although it is yet to be confirmed as to whether Hashtag United will take the offer and allow Leese to agree on personal terms.
Leese is a 2020 ePremier League champion, where he represented Watford. Beating the popular Gary "Marleythirteen" Marley (representing Bournemouth) in the final 2-1, Leese secured a cash prize of $20,000. Since then, he's gone on to win the English qualifier for the FIFAe Nations Cup, before the main event was cancelled due to the global pandemic.
Since starting competing in 2018, the 22-year-old has bagged over $150,000 in winnings, and has amassed a 79,000 large subscriber count on YouTube.
Transfer fees in esports are often kept under lock and key, unlike mainstream sports. However, the industry is beginning to become more transparent around the larger moves. Previously, CS:GO player Alex "ALEX" McMeekin was revealed to have been snatched up by Cloud9 with a deal worth $1,650,000 over three years.
Leese's transfer will be the 'first of its kind' in FIFA, and could have a domino effect for football clubs to see the monetary value of esports too.
The transfer has yet to be set in stone, although many top-tier English clubs have entered esports in recent times, such as Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United, and Manchester City.