NFL running back Jay Ajayi signs with Philadelphia Union as eMLS player

Jay Ajayi - Philadelphia Union eMLS - holding controller

The Philadelphia Union signed a Super Bowl champion to represent them on the console, announcing Tuesday that they have signed free agent NFL running back Jay Ajayi as their eMLS pro gamer. Ajayi will represent the Union during the 2020 eMLS Cup campaign, beginning with eMLS League Series One presented by PlayStation in Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 10.

Ajayi, who helped the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl LII victory and was a 2017 Pro Bowl selection, will be aiming to replicate the Union's 2019 eMLS success, when they swept all three titles thanks to doolsta, who has since joined up with Nashville SC.

“Philadelphia holds a special place in my heart so I am blessed to be able to represent the city in the esports realm and to become one of the first pro athletes to become a professional gamer. It combines two of my passions, soccer and gaming,” said Ajayi in a team statement. “I’m a competitor, so you’re going to see me give my all for the Union at every eMLS event this year.”

Though his professional career took him to the world of football, Ajayi spent his early childhood in London and is an avid soccer fan and FIFA player. The 26-year-old can be found playing the game across various online streaming platforms, including Copa 90's FIFA & Chill series.

“Jay has the fight, grit and winning mentality that Philadelphia is known for, and it quickly became clear to us that his love of the city, soccer, and gaming made him a great fit for our esports team” said Doug Vosik, Union Chief Marketing Officer. “The Philadelphia Union is a leader and innovator in eMLS and has a decorated past, having brought home the League Series 1, League Series 2, and eMLS Cup trophies last year. Signing Jay is another groundbreaking move in eMLS and we are excited to see what he can do.”

eMLS is entering its third season, and will feature 25 professional FIFA 20 players competing in three events: League Series One, League Series Two and eMLS Cup. Each event will have a trophy and cash prize on offer, and gamers will be awarded points in the FIFA Global Series Rankings based on their eMLS Cup finish. Those points, in turn, will boost gamers' chances to qualify for the most prestigious trophy on the competitive FIFA circuit, the FIFA eWorld Cup.