Ahead of their inaugural MLS season, Charlotte FC have signed Khaled Ali as their first-ever eMLS player, the club announced Monday.
Ali, who plays under the gamertag kmali_97, finished the 2021 eMLS campaign as the 13th-ranked PlayStation 4 player for EA Sports FIFA in the United States, ranked 27th across all of North America in the same timeframe.
Ali has been based in North Carolina for the last seven years, relocating back to the United States to attend North Carolina State University after growing up in Jordan.
“We’re very excited to have Khaled join Charlotte FC as the club’s first eMLS player,” said club president Nick Kelly. “It was important for us to identify a player who can excel at the highest level of competitive gaming while also bringing a passion for soccer in the Carolinas. eMLS is a valuable part of the global soccer ecosystem and it was vital for us to be represented during the competitive calendar for 2022 and beyond.”
eMLS is the highest-level North American eSports league, with players representing clubs from across MLS competing in the League Series One, League Series Two and eMLS Cup tournaments.
"It’s been a dream of mine to play EA Sports FIFA at the professional level and I look forward to competing for Charlotte FC in the upcoming eMLS season,” Ali said in Monday's release. “Being able to represent the Carolinas, the place I call home in the United States, is an incredible honor. This is an exciting chance for me to show my skills to a wider audience and I hope to bring as much success as possible home to our amazing fans.”
Charlotte FC will join MLS as an expansion team in 2022.