Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez – move over, a new breed of digital superstars need your shirt space after FC Barcelona revealed plans to create an esports team to compete in a new eFootball league based on Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer.
I guess a ‘splash page’ is a web page designed to make a ‘splash’, like a kid trying to chew gum and talk at the same time while jumping into a puddle. That’s not what I saw this morning.
FC Barcelona is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world. It is a business. It is a brand. It is a story. It is a dream. This week, the Catalan club announced plans to enter the world of esports.
A brand new team of esports professionals will join Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez at the club, representing FC Barcelona in digital football matches, worldwide.
Details are scant at present.
Here’s what we have for now.
Remember Gerard Pique, the centre-half who couldn’t get into the Man Utd team, who tried Barcelona instead and became one of the finest centre-halves the modern world has ever seen? The same lad who loves a game of poker, and often shows up at PokerStars Live events and the World Series of Poker (WSOP)?
Well after Pique had finished his two hours of football training, instead of spending the rest of the day down the bookies like Dietmar Hamman and Keith Gillespie, Pique formed an esports league.
It’s called eFootball.Pro. Pique is the President and Founder. And after partnering with the Japanese gaming giant KONAMI, it seems they are to become the primary competition for EA Sports’ FIFA franchise, as the new coupling plan to turn Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) into an esports phenomenon.
FC Barcelona is the first club to join the new league, which the press release states, will be broadcast globally. It makes sense. Pique plays at the club. The snazzy promo video promises more teams will follow once the excitement of the Barcelona announcement dies down.
The move makes sense.
The recent Premier League TV rights deal shows that football (or soccer if you live in the land of mad Presidents and guns) can still compete with the likes of Netflix in the entertainment space. But for how long?
With forms of entertainment even surpassing that super cool monster game on the Millenium Falcon, how long before our children shun jumpers for goalposts preferring to dream of being an esports athlete?
If you’ve got a teenage kid slowly turning into a Bram Stoker hard-on in your house, then you know the transmutation has already begun.