Manchester United – the biggest sporting franchise in the world – has spoken, and the word is: eSports is a worthy investment.
The Red Devils is branching out for the first time into the ever expanding industry of competitive gaming, and is looking to bring in an Overwatch team into their fold. But already, they have been pitted against one of the best in the field – Fnatic.
But it was also reported United is “unfazed” by its competition. There is little doubt, given the millions of pounds in revenue the club rakes in annually even when they are not winning trophies. One likely target is Reunited, noted as acurrent top team in Overwatch.
Previously, key players of Reunited wore Fnatic colours as Battlefield players. But when Overwatch was introduced, they quickly left the team to form their own team. As the game proved to be a smash hit and they established themselves as one of the stronger teams in the game, they may look to rejoin Fnatic.
Other bid targets include Creation Esports and Rogue.
But this is not the first instance that an athletic organization is stepping in the competitive gaming scene. Turkish club Beskitas kickstarted the trend back in January last year by signing on a League of Legends team while West Ham United had reportedly signed on FIFA player Sean “Dragonn” Allen.
Even in America, the co-owners of Sacramento Kings has invested into the League Championship Series, and founded NRG eSports.
On another note, the participation of such huge sporting entities is providence of a one-way road, to stabilize the entire eSports industry and bring it steadily into mainstream awareness.