Australia is taking eSports more seriously than you might realise, with the Adelaide Crows Football Club officially acquiring League of Legends pro team Legacy eSports. This is the first time a traditional sports club has secured an eSports team in the Oceanic region, and it looks like both parties couldn’t be happier.
Last year, the League of Legends World Championship was the biggest eSports event in the world, with 396 million cumulative daily unique impressions. It’s no surprise the AFL is looking to score a piece of the pie. Adelaide Chief Executive Andrew Fagan explains the move is expected to “broaden the scope” of the Crows’ fan engagement – particularly within the AFL’s target 14-to-34 age bracket.
We will bring our expertise in elite and professional sport to support the high performance development of the Legacy players who are driven to achieve success in their field.
We will also devote resources to support the growth of the Legacy brand and their ability to engage effectively with their passionate fan base.
While the move might seem unusual, Legacy is actually the latest in a series of League of Legends teams being snapped up by traditional sporting clubs. International giants (including the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, French footballers Paris Saint-Germain, German football club FC Schalke 04 and Spanish football club Valencia CF) have all added pro-gamers to their growing rosters.
Predictably, Riot is rather pleased, with Head of eSports, Daniel Ringland, explaining:
The Adelaide Crows entering the Oceanic Pro League is a huge win for all esports fans in the region. Not only are they the first ‘traditional’ sporting club to expand into the OPL, but they’re a club built on both excellence in performance and dedication to their fans, which is why Legacy eSports are the perfect partners for them going forward.
With the two proud clubs combined, their shared values will bring a stronger Legacy into a more competitive OPL.
Tim “Carbon” Wendel is Legacy eSports team Captain – and he’s over the moon:
This is a landmark day for esports and we are ecstatic to start working with the Adelaide Football Club. I have always been a Crows fan so it is an honour to be part of such a prestigious club and to develop Legacy eSports into a sport powerhouse, just like the Adelaide Crows.
The “more competitive” OPL Split 2 will kick off on June 10, after the League of Legends: League of Origin competition on June 3-4. Legacy eSports will face off against the region’s best – Dire Wolves, Chiefs eSports Club, Sin Gaming, Avant Garde, Tainted Minds, Abyss eSports Club and newly promoted, Team Regicide – for a spot in the 2017 OPL Grand Final and the opportunity to attend Worlds 2017.