Similar to FC Schalke, Spanish soccer club Valencia has just jumped into the fray, and England’s Manchester United are now also looking for an opportunity to get involved into esports.
Valencia entering esports
According to an article by Esports Observer, the six-time La Liga champion supposedly wants to get involved in competitive FIFA, Hearthstone and Rocket League.
Additionally, a League of Legends team should follow later this year.
The soccer club hit a bit of a rough patch during the past decade and was bought out by Singapore businessman Peter Lim in 2014. Entering esports could be a new opportunity for the club, expanding its presence into another competitive field.
Manchester United looking to buy a top European Overwatch team
As reported by eSports News UK, Manchester United, one of the biggest sports franchises in the world, is planning to enter the competitive gaming industry by signing an esports team.
The English Premier League football club is reportedly in a bidding war with Fnatic, one of the biggest names in esports, over an Overwatch team.
Although no final deal has yet been made, Fnatic has apparently already made an offer to the Overwatch team, forcing Manchester United to renegotiate with a counter-offer.
While Fnatic is one of the world’s most valuable esports organizations, estimated to be worth around $42.5 million, it is no match to Manchester United’s value at more than $3.3 billion and more than $500 million in revenue.
Esports attracting an increased amount of traditional sports organizations
Manchester United will so far be the biggest football brand to get involved with esports.
Turkish club Beşiktaş hopped onto the esports train by signing a League of Legends team in January 2015. Last month, West Ham United signed FIFA player Sean “Dragonn” Allen.
Veteran esports commentator Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner tweeted about his talks regarding esports with a British soccer club a couple of days ago.
On the back of Valencia and Schalke announcing esports teams, I'm also talking to a UK football team about the same thing. They're coming.
— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) June 7, 2016
Even though it’s not clear whether that team is Manchester United, it is apparent that traditional sports clubs are getting into esports at a fast pace.