The growing popularity of eSports among Gen Z and Generation Alpha has compelled some of the top football clubs to spread their reach through eGaming and a few of them have already reaped booming rewards.
The coalition of these two industries is something to keep a keen eye on and those who predicted its progression ahead of its time are now being considered as the new benchmark.
Teams such as Ajax, Wolves, Burnley and even West Ham United have already made an impression in the eSports market, but those sitting on top have established quite a legacy. And on that note, we take a look at some.
Ranked seventh in the FIFAe Club Series 2022, Basel’s eSports contingent has a win ratio of 59 per cent, having won an impressive 41 of their 70 matches at the time of writing. The Switzerland-based team has put together a five-man squad, all locals, and three of them are under 23 years of age.
Among those are 23-year-old Ruben Pereira, 21-year-old Mamijunior, the oldest of them all Luca Boller (27), 26-year-old Shishabarspieler and youngest Omeed Hakimi (19). In 2021, the FC Basel 1893 eSports team competed in the recent FIFAe Club World Cup outside of their continental where they couldn’t go past the semi-finals.
The all-German contingent of Schalke 04 is ranked 11th in the FIFAe Club Series 2022 and it comes as no surprise since they have been in the eSports pool since 2016.
While their last year’s performance wasn't really upto the mark, finishing a lowly 11th (out of 13) in Nord-West league, they have revamped their team for the 2022 edition with only 20-year-old Juli staying retaining his position.
Regular season ✅ 🔜 #Playoffs— Schalke 04 Esports (@S04Esports) February 25, 2022
We are proud that our team finished the regular season of the @PrimeLeague Spring Split with the 04th place and qualified for the Playoffs. 🙏🏽
On Thursday we will start with the first BO5 match 🆚 @UnicornsOfLove
💙 #NULLFEAR pic.twitter.com/CeIJNJdTqk
Schalke have been quite innovative in the eGaming business, hosting fan viewing events for their players and also creating replica jerseys for their players. Naturally, the team now has a strong FIFA roster and have also entered the League of Legends market where they have more or less struggled to settle.
Manchester City’s eSports contingent is ranked 16th in the FIFAe Club Series 2022. Unlike Basel, the Cityzens only have two eSports players on their roster who have a combined win ratio of 48 per cent. In a total of 66 matches, the duo has tallied 32 wins and have suffered as many losses while drawing two.
Like their football team, the Man City eSports team is considered one of the best in the United Kingdom (UK). The two players featuring in their ranks are Shaun “Shellzz” Springette and Ryan “MCFC Ryan” Pessoa. The latter was only a temporary sub in the 2019 FIFA eClub World Cup and after a brief spell with Chelsea, he returned to City in late 2019.
Featured photo: Unsplash / Guglielmo Basile