Real Madrid star and International soccer icon Gareth Bale has launched a new esports organization called Ellevens Esports in partnership with 38 Entertainment Group.
38 Entertainment Group is an esports management company co-founded by entrepreneur Jonathan Kark and former professional soccer player Larry Cohen. The name Ellevens is a reference to Bale’s number 11 jersey. Bale made the announcement on Twitter.
This new organization is aiming to unearth new and upcoming talent from the United Kingdom and beyond as it aims to enter popular games such as Fortnite, Rocket League, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They are set to host an open talent search to find players to fill their rosters.
The first esport Ellevens Esports will compete in is FIFA. The team is looking to make its first competitive appearance later this week at the Fifa eClub World Cup in Milan.
In a statement published on Ellevens’ website, Bale said he was drawn into the industry by the similarities between esports and football, saying it needed just as much dedication and sacrifice to get to the top.
“I am looking to recruit a team of world-class players for Ellevens across a variety of games. Unearthing new talent is an exciting part of the process and it’s been really exciting to be involved in selecting our lineup of players so far!”
With the move, Bale joins a growing list of soccer investments within esports. Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and Schalke 04 have all made moves to get into the business over the last few years. With esports audiences being some of the most sought-after demographics and with a range of new growth and sponsorship opportunities, many traditional sports teams are making the move into the esports space.
In 2013, Gareth Bale became the most expensive player in the world when La Liga giants Real Madrid paid over $110 million. It remains to be seen how much Bale is involved in the organization going into 2020.