Until recently, it was only a handful of teams that have decided to make the bold journey from mainstream football to virtual sports. However, the EPL has just made that shift. We previously spoke about EA’s involvement in promoting the FIFA franchise through its video game. Esports seems to be the future of the game.
Today, this initiative is bearing fruit. You can identify multiple occasions where EA’s commitment to esports and sports, as it is, has paid off. The inauguration of the ePremier League is just the beginning.
Electronic Arts and the English Premier League have partnered to form the ePremier League, an FIFA 19 esports tournament available to U.K.-based gamers. All 20 Premier League clubs will be represented in the tournament to give “players the chance https://t.co/bVI3IiPnup
— eTrafficLane (@eTrafficLane) October 19, 2018
Now, we sit down to ponder the implications between esports and actual sporting achievement and whether the two can co-exist, if at all.
Esports in Football – What’s This About?
You may have not known this for a fact, but Messi and Ronaldo are big gamers. Not just on the pitch. They love to play video games. And one particular title, of course – FIFA 19. It’s the game of the footballers and everyone is quite happy to spend hours participating in the virtual simulations.
Ronaldo and other, of course, often complain if they feel that their characters haven’t been given enough and they make sure to have EA on speed dial. But let’s look past the hubris of individual players and you will see that a great deal of them are committed to gaming.
Esports and football have common points of intersection, because the digital sports are just an extension of the love fans have for the game itself. However, this may be changing. Esports command millions of views monthly and this is an overwhelming amount that could perhaps even rival the numbers cited in the EPL.
Buying Media Rights – A New Way to Do Business
Media rights have been of the utmost importance to all brands and participants. Teams, investors and event organizers have all been looking into ways to boost engagement. And particularly, boost engagement among younger viewers. How do you achieve this, though?
Can’t wait to get started! pic.twitter.com/RP0inV4beq
— Epsilon eSports (@Epsilon_eSports) October 12, 2018
By reaching out to an audience and targeting tis interests. Most commonly, those interests are video games. Since footballers themselves love to play, it’s an easy sell. Of course, establishing competitive esports is tough, but EA has invested massively so that every team in the English Premier League (EPL) will now have their own virtual squad.
The EPL is not the only organization that is focused exclusively on esports, as the same is happening with La Liga and similar initiatives. The Danish Football League has decided to partner up with DreamHack, a popular esports organizer, and go the full Monty when it comes to bringing innovation in its own esports.
Success or Flop: What Does the Future Hold?
Determining the outcome of the events is indeed not an easy task, but it will be an important prerequisite for the future. Anyone who wants to bank on esports and make sure they are successful will have to consider the implications. A new survey by Goldman Sachs has proven that the likelihood of esports dominating the scene is quite significant.
The EPL is of course taking this opportunity to make sure that it won’t miss on a trend that seems to be lucrative and interesting enough as to present some excellent solutions to monetize the popularity of the brands.
In the cases where teams have been around, such as West Ham and Manchester City the benefits are quite clear. The brands have boosted their presence among young fans and while these two worlds seem quite unmatched, both mainstream athletes and their gamer counterparts appreciate and respect themselves within these organizations.
The Biggest Victories for Esports in Football – Almost
One of the biggest successes this year was PSG.LGD, the Paris team that took the second place in The International 2018 – a huge $24 million esports tournaments. As esports grow, the opportunities for other organizations to benefit from them would also expand and grow.
The victory of PSG with the Chinese powerhouse is now signalling teams that esports are not only a place for fun and where people tend to skirt on PA classes. With this in mind, you will definitely want to keep your eyes peeled for the great new opportunities that esports offer to footballers and top competitors. The future of football is tied to that of esports.