As esports continues to become more widely popular, many soccer teams around the world have started to launch their very own esports teams.
Most play in the FIFA eWorld Cup, playing video games from the EA Sports FIFA franchise, but some teams play other games such as Counter-Strike and League of Legends. Seeing as soccer began in Europe and is still most popular there, it makes sense that it’s mostly European soccer clubs that now have their own esports teams.
But as the esports industry continues to grow and become more financially lucrative, fans can expect to see soccer clubs from all around the world soon launching their own teams. In the meantime, here are some of the most famous clubs that have already bought in on esports.
Turkish club Beşiktaş was founded way back in 1903. More than a century later, in 2015, the Istanbul-based team became the very first in the country to launch an esports division.
Beşiktaş doesn’t just participate in FIFA video game tournaments. Instead, the team competes in League of Legends and PUBG Mobile, and previously sponsored the top women’s Counter-Strike team in Europe.
Sports betting is no longer confined to traditional sports like football and basketball. Today, betting on esports is becoming more popular all of the time.
In the United Kingdom, esports fans can bet on numerous clubs with esports teams. One of the best is Manchester City. Since the club partnered with FaZe Clan in 2019, which is one of the largest and most popular esports organizations on the planet, the Manchester City esports team has gone from strength to strength.
The team’s great performance has partially been due to it having two of the best FIFA esports players in the world in Shaun “Shellzz” Springette and Ryan Pessoa.
Despite being relatively new to the esports scene, FC Bayern München has already been making a splash. Most notably, FC Bayern München recruited a whole team for playing Pro Evolution Soccer. The club even hosted its own Pro Evolution Soccer esports cup tournament.
AS Roma has partnered with esports organization Fnatic and has produced many FIFA players that have helped to take the team climb to the top of the scene. AS Roma is already one of the world’s greatest soccer teams, and now it’s hoping to enjoy the same success in the world of FIFA esports.
Since 2017, Holland’s most famous soccer club, AFC Ajax, has been a force to be reckoned with in the world of esports. Like most other soccer clubs with esports teams, AFC Ajax plays FIFA video games in tournaments. The club has become well-known for fostering local esports talent, and its approach seems to have paid off.
The famous German soccer club Schalke 04 has really embraced esports since it launched its team in 2016. The club has hosted fan-viewing events and even created its own jerseys for the players.
In addition to participating in FIFA games, Schalke 04 is also a franchise owner in the LEC, Europe’s top League of Legends league. Schalke 04 has been a serious contender in the LEC, but its future is unknown after the football club’s relegation from the Bundesliga.
French club Paris Saint-Germain has been involved with esports since 2016. One of its FIFA players won the title of ESWC FIFA World Champ at the Paris game in 2017.
Paris Saint-Germain has a presence in Asia through its co-sponsorship of teams alongside other esports organizations. In China, PSG worlds alongside LGD Gaming to run PSG.LGD, a Dota 2 team that stands at the top of the region. In Southeast Asia, PSG works with Hong Kong-based Talon Esports to run the League of Legends team PSG Talon.