LONDON. You could see it was coming back in October 2016, with Manchester City’s acquisition of Kieran “Kez” Brown, who joined the team and who has since been competing on City’s behalf.
No, “Kez” Brown didn´t muscle up next to Sergio Aguero and David Silva on the Premier League pitches, but played for Manchester City on the Esports scene in different tournaments.
Esports is an industry that last year alone saw 43 percent revenue growth and more than 320 million viewers worldwide. Curretly, Esports is valued at around $1 billion and that is a number that is expected to continue to swell in years to come.
So, no wonder that football clubs like City enter Esports and not only in Manchester, but also in New York. Earlier this year it was revealed that Christopher Holly had been signed by New York City FC as the club’s first professional Esports athlete.
The connection between traditional and digital sport is growing and many millennials have been introduced to elements of football through games such as FIFA over the years.
“When you see what’s being invested into it, from the big companies and organizations, it’s not just coincidence,” Matt Moore, manager of digital and social media at Atlanta United, told magazine FourFourTwo.
The trend is quite clear. In France, giant Paris Saint-Germain, have created an Esports franchise.
In Netherlands, Ajax and PSV Eindhoven have also entered the FIFA scene and Fnatic, one of the leading organisations in Esports, announced in February its partnership with Italian football club, AS Roma, to introduce the club’s first professional team to FIFA’s growing Esports league.
Schalke 04, one of the biggest football clubs in Germany, announced that they’d picked up two FIFA players and a premier European League of Legends team.
In Turkey, Besiktas picked up a League of Legends team that are now called Besiktas OHM. They compete in the Turkish Champions League, playing in the traditional black and white striped football jerseys. And the list is longer, with West Ham, Sporting Lisbon, Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen also joining the ranks.
It is all about reach and the fact that Esports attracts the very audience clubs are hoping to attach to their brands, now and in the future.
The Esports audience is growing at 30 – 35 percent per year, currently standing at more than 320m people globally and forecasted to grow beyond half a billion by 2020.
GameOnTV is a new Esports service that provides 24/7 professional Esports streaming with an easy to navigate selection of matches and games.
GameOnTV makes viewing Esports a frictionless and highly engaging experience.
www.gameontv.com provide only the highest quality content from the streaming sector of Esports and always live, with the best tournaments and matches from the most popular Esports games, such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Dota, Hearthstone and Call of Duty.
After first launching on gameontv.co.uk, GameOnTV is now also live on gameontv.com.