As part of WYLDE and Virgin Media’s ‘Gamers are Athletes’ campaign, David Meyler, Stephanie Roche, Tyrone Ryan and Ciaran Walsh will compete in a live FIFA battle, in a League of Ireland first in Cork City FC’s Turner’s Cross Stadium on 29 November 2022
Tuesday 22nd November 2022: Virgin Media, alongside Usain Bolt’s esports organisation and Ireland’s premier esports team WYLDE, will host Ireland’s most unique football battle, which will see Irish football legends David Meyler and Stephanie Roche take on Ireland’s top FIFA players Ciaran Walsh and Tyrone Ryan.
In a League of Ireland first, the game, powered by Virgin Media broadband, will take place in Cork City FC’s Turner’s Cross Stadium on Tuesday 29th November and will be live on Twitch at 5pm.
WYLDE players Tyrone Ryan and Ciaran Walsh represent Ireland in international FIFA competitions and are Ireland’s highest ranked FIFA players. The esports athletes will compete with former Ireland and professional footballer David Meyler and former Ireland women’s football player, Stephanie Roche. Another great Ireland footballer, and Virgin Media Sport pundit, Damien Delaney will provide live commentary and analysis alongside esports caster and football commentator, Darren Gibson.
Speaking at the launch of the big game, Virgin Media Ireland Marketing Manager, Clare Quinlan said: “Ireland’s gamers are the next generation of esports athletes and professional players. With this unique Irish football game, Virgin Media is keen to turn the spotlight from Qatar to Cork and recognise the huge talent that gamers in Ireland represent. Irish esports players and gamers at home compete internationally every day. At Virgin Media, we understand, that just like in every sport, gamers need the right equipment – in this case, the best broadband. We are delighted to sponsor Ireland’s first esports academy, the WYLDE Academy, in Cork powered by Virgin Media’s 1Gb speeds and 9.99% reliable broadband, the academy is an exciting opportunity to help nurture and support gaming talent in Ireland.”
An avid online gamer, former professional midfielder, David Meyler said: “After retiring from professional football, I started gaming online and have since become a keen content streamer on Twitch. I am delighted to be part of this campaign, especially as it takes place on my home turf. I began my career playing for Cork City, and although I’ve played many a soccer game in Turner’s Cross, this will be my first-time gaming on a pitch. I am thrilled to be competing with WYLDE esports players, Tyrone and Ciaran, as I understand the level of skill and dedication gaming at his level takes. They are both seriously impressive.”
Stephanie Roche added: “I love playing FIFA, but I am not a patch on Ciaran and Tyrone on the FIFA pitch! As an athlete, routine is a major part of my life, from diet to hours of training and competing. Ciaran and Tyrone’s commitment to perfecting their craft is incredible. This experience has been totally eye-opening, and the WYLDE players are a testament to the fact that gaming is serious business, and they truly are athletes.”
Speaking on behalf of WYLDE, which is co-owned by the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, co-owner and Chief Executive Steve Daly added; “We are really excited to see our professional esports athletes competing with some of Ireland’s best footballing talent. Both David and Stephanie represented Ireland internationally on the pitch, while Tyrone and Ciaran represent Ireland internationally online. Thanks to Virgin Media for bringing these four talented professional players together for this high-octane, superfast and unique football event in Ireland.”
This event is forms part of a nationwide campaign, where two of Ireland’s top FIFA champions Ciaran Walsh and Tyrone Ryan are showcased as elite athletes who, like other athletes, rely on their kit to perform at the highest level. As part of the campaign, Tyrone Ryan and Ciarán Walsh from Team WYLDE, show how they leverage the speed and reliability of Virgin Media broadband to bring their A-game.