Late September is a time FIFA players all over the world mark in their diary as a landmark date.
The new version of FIFA hits the shelves then, giving gamers the chance to play with the current season’s line-ups, in new stadia and with a whole host of new features.
FIFA 17 features the Hammers’ new London Stadium home, and it was at the Stratford venue that Electronic Arts – the game’s makers – held their UK launch last Monday.
It was a star-studded occasion, with celebrities from the world of football, music and gaming converging on E20 to try out the new game.
Our very own e-Sports player, Sean ‘Dragonn’ Allen, was on hand to play his part – including taking on Hammers youngster Reece Oxford and singer Olly Murs.
Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford, rapper Lethal Bizzle and YouTuber Spencer Owen were among the other well-known faces in attendance and Dragonn was thrilled to be part of the occasion.
He said: “I played a 2v2 with Olly Murs as the game’s launch event and then playing against him afterwards was a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.
“He’s been an idol for many years, so to meet him and get on well with him was a great experience.
“It was a very tight game against Reece Oxford and he thinks he should have beaten me. I made many chances, but he took his, as everyone seems to against me!
“I got an 85th minute penalty though which made me win 2-1 – but he’s a decent player for sure.
“I’ve played against Reece and Michail Antonio in the last few weeks and hopefully I can play against more Hammers players in the future!”
The excitement did not stop there during FIFA’s launch week, as the game also showcased its FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) element at the London Eye on Wednesday.
The FIWC is an annual tournament organised by FIFA and EA Sports to crown the world’s best player – with the 2017 edition due to conclude next August with a grand final in London.
The Hammers’ e-Sports player, Allen, was runner up in the 2016 event, suffering a heartbreaking away-goals defeat to Danish gamer Mohamad Al-Bacha in New York after holding the lead late in the game.
Allen and Al-Bacha were reunited in London this week for a rematch to kick the new season off, with revenge on Dragonn’s mind - and revenge was what he got with a 3-2 victory.