February 5 – The world of eSports has attracted another high profile team entrant from the world of football, but this time it is a player rather than a club. Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale has launched a new eSports team called Ellevens Esports.
Co-owned by Bale and 38 Entertainment Group, founded by investor Jonathan Kark and former footballer Larry Cohen, the team will debut in the FIFA eClub World Cup in Milan this week.
Having signed a team that will compete in the eClub World Cup, Ellevens Esports said it is looking to enter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, and Fortnite in the coming months.
To achieve this Ellevens Esports is to host an open talent search that allows players to join the organisation on a professional contract.
“There are similarities between football and esports in that it takes real dedication and sacrifice to reach the top of your game. 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,” said Bale.
Bale is not the first player to lend his name and fame to the expanding eSports business. Barcelona’s Gerard Pique is a lead investor in eFootball.Pro, the eSports league played on Konami’s PES platform and which has expanded to 10 football club-based teams for its second season.
Esports is increasingly seen as a revenue opportunity for football with the prize pool for the eClub World Cup now at $100,000. In reality this is a small amount but the money will grow. Last year American Kyle Giersdorf won more than $3 million after taking the top prize in a Fortnite tournament.
“We foresee further explosive growth in this international phenomenon and are actively seeking to deploy significant further capital into complimentary businesses within the Esports ecosystem,” said Kark.
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