After winning the Grand Final of the Ziggo e-Battle, Gabor Szirtesi from Hungary may now call himself professional Ajax e-athlete. A total of 8,748 FIFA players from 84 countries competed in the worldwide online qualification tournaments. Eight players qualified for the Grand Final which was held in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. As of the next season, Gabor Szirtesi will play with number 66. It is the first professional e-sports contract he has signed.
By winning the Ziggo e-Battle, Gabor Szirtesi won an official Ajax contract. As of next season, he will become part of the Ajax e-sports team. The 18-year-old Hungarian will represent Ajax on national and international tournaments, train with other e-athletes at the highest level and will be coached when it comes to FIFA, nutrition and movement. The Ajax e-sports team now consists of the Dutchman Dani Hagebeuk, American Joey Calabro and Brazilian Tore, short for Victor dos Santos Coelho.
Turn FIFA into a career
For five months, Ajax and Ziggo scouted for thé FIFA talent of Europe. With the Ziggo e-Battle, an online competition, Ajax and Ziggo offered young fans the chance to make their dream come true: turn FIFA into a career. 'I’m really looking forward to being able to game for a club like Ajax. When I registered, I could never have dreamed that I would be standing here today', says Gabor Szirtesi.
Offer young talent a chance
Ajax offers young talent a chance. Not only on the soccer pitch but also in e-sports. Menno Geelen, Commercial Director at Ajax: 'We want to make dreams come true. The FIFA community worldwide is huge and there is still a lot of talent we haven’t noticed yet. In this way we as Ajax want to offer fans worldwide a podium where they can compete against the very best.'
Continue in the field of e-sports
Louise Meijer, director Brand & Communications at VodafoneZiggo Netherlands, believes that the Ziggo e-Battle is a great add-on to all activities Ziggo already undertakes in e-sports nowadays. 'We see that the popularity of e-sports and gaming is still increasing in the Netherlands. A good network is essential and we are therefore immensely proud to partner with Ajax e-sports in this exceptional quest to find a new FIFA top talent. The Ziggo e-Battle perfectly fits into the entertainment and enjoyment we offer as a brand. It also fits seamlessly into our other e-sports activities, like the sponsorship of the ESL. That it would become such a success, exceeds our expectations.'
Grand Final Ziggo e-Battle
The Grand Final of the Ziggo e-Battle took place on 13 June 2019. In the presence of, among others, former Ajax e-athlete Koen Weijland, Rapper Maradonnie and Freestyle soccer player Rarko, the final was staged in the Ajax Gallery of Fame. Of a total of 8,748 contestants, Gabor Szirtesi proved to be the best by claiming a thrilling 4-3 victory.