Schalke 04 have announced that they have signed Germany's top ranked Pro Evolution Soccer player, Lennart "LENNAO" Albrecht, a pro who has been in the PES scene for almost ten years, winning the 2016 German Championship.
The press release says LENNAO's focus is on qualifying for the PES League, the Konami-organised tournament with a prize pool of $200,000 USD, but this shouldn't be too hard considering his previous success, although he will now have to deal with the pressure of being the first PES player signed by a football club.
"It is an honour to me being signed as the first PES player for a football club, and playing for Schalke from now on," LENNAO said. "Along the signing comes great expectations of me, which is why my focus is on the upcoming second season, starting end of February. It will be all about the qualification for World Championship but I am sure with my experiences and the ideal training conditions offered by the club, I have high chances of success."
Tim Reichert, Schalke 04's Head of Esports, added: "Lennart is a skilled senior player with a lot of expert knowledge about the scene for which we are happy to have him on board. With Pro Evolution Soccer we extend our Esports portfolio by a title that inspires football fans and gamers from all over the world alike. Our mission in this field is to implement a professional training ground which is why we plan to extend our Esports training center with further disciplines this year."
Pro Evolution Soccer isn't talked about quite as much as FIFA when it comes to esports, but does it have just as much right to be considered a top esports game?