Adelaide Crows start their eSports legacy by becoming the first AFL club to sign a pro team!

Pete Curulli
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Pete Curulli

CTO at Flaktest Gaming
Radio Host, Gamer, Co-Founder of Game On Australia
Pete Curulli
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Huge news broke today with the announcement that the Adelaide Crows have become the first AFL club to sign an eSports team. This follows on from the news a couple of weeks ago that the AFL is wanting to use their fifty-four thousand seat Etihad Stadium (Victoria) to host its first major eSports tournament.

From lolesports.com:

The Adelaide Crows Football Club has acquired OPL team, Legacy eSports, becoming the first traditional sports club to secure an esports team in Oceania.

The Adelaide Crows’ move into esports follows the acquisition of international League of Legends esports teams by several sporting giants, including the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, German football club FC Schalke 04, French football club Paris Saint-Germain and Spanish football club Valencia CF. This also succeeds the AFL’s recent declaration that it intends to enter the field to broaden exposure of its brand amongst the elusive 14-to-34-year age group and boost sponsorship.

Crows Chief Executive, Andrew Fagan, said involvement in the rapidly growing esports industry would broaden the scope of Adelaide’s fan engagement, brand and commercial platform.

“Across the globe there are sporting clubs, billionaire investors and athletes becoming involved with a view to growing their brand and reach, driving commercial outcomes and engaging with new fans.

“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.”

Daniel Ringland, Head of Esports, has praised the Crows’ move:

“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.”

Legacy eSports team Captain, Tim ‘Carbon’ Wendel (who will remain with the team) said that this deal is a dream come true.

“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.”

OPL Split 2 will commence on 10 June, following League of Legends: League of Origin (3-4 June). Legacy eSports will compete against Dire Wolves, Chiefs eSports Club, Sin Gaming, Avant Garde, Tainted Minds, Abyss eSports Club and newly promoted, Team Regicide, for the 2017 OPL Grand Final Championship and the opportunity to attend the 2017 League of Legends World Championship.

The 2016 League of Legends World Championship received 396 million cumulative daily unique impressions, making it the biggest esports event in the world.

Flaktest Gaming’s National Interschool eSports Championship is well under way with schools competing every Saturday from across the country. Tune in at 9:30am Saturdays on twitch.tv/flaktest

You can also check out the official Adelaide Crows media release below:

May 17, 2017

 

Crows strike eSports agreement

 

The Adelaide Football Club has entered into an agreement to acquire a professional eSports team in what is a first for Australian mainstream sport.

Sydney-based Legacy eSports is one of eight top-tier League of Legends professional teams competing in the Oceanic Pro League (OPL).

eSports is competitive video-gaming with tournaments played online and in stadiums where teams of professional players battle each other in a variety of games, including League of Legends.

The Oceanic competition provides a direct path to the global contest, the League of Legends World Championship, which last year attracted more viewers than the NBA finals.

eSports has an international audience of close to 250 million people, the majority of whom are aged 14-34 years, and in Australia the professional competition is complemented by hundreds of semi-professional and amateur outfits.

The Crows move follows overseas sporting leagues, teams and individuals investing in eSports in the past 18 months.

Those include the NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, former NBA players Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal, baseballers Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins, and NFL legend Joe Montana, along with soccer powerhouses Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Schalke and AS Roma.

The AFL also recently flagged its intent to engage with the $1.2 billion global eSports industry, including potentially staging tournaments at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

Crows Chief Executive Andrew Fagan said involvement in the rapidly growing eSports industry would broaden the scope of Adelaide’s fan engagement, brand and commercial platform.

“It is hugely popular with millennials and there are enhanced opportunities for current and new corporate partners to engage with younger, digital and social media savvy audiences,” Fagan said.

“In many ways, eSports represents the intersection of technology, media and entertainment, which are all a key part of our strategic focus.

“Across the globe there are sporting clubs, billionaire investors and athletes becoming involved in eSports with a view to growing their brand and reach, driving commercial outcomes and engaging with new fans.

“League of Legends eSports was the most obvious choice for our Club to get involved in, as it is one of the most developed eSports leagues in the region.

“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.”

Fagan added the investment in eSports is another example of the Club’s commitment to both innovation and growth.

“Our traditional revenue streams are obviously strong, as evidenced through our record attendances, membership, corporate hospitality, sponsorship and merchandise return,” he said.

“While we will forever remain focused on our core objectives of winning football matches, we need to continue to diversify our activities and programs.

“Last year we successfully established a team in the AFLW that represented the Club proudly and supported increased engagement with our female supporter base.

“Our investment in Legacy is obviously very different and new in this country but will become a very important part of our Club.”

Riot Games Head of eSports Daniel Ringland said the agreement was a significant moment for all eSports fans in the OPL.

“Not only are the Adelaide Crows the first ‘traditional’ sporting club to expand into the OPL but they are a club built on both excellence in performance and dedication to their fans, which is why Legacy is the perfect partner for them going forward,” Ringland said.

Added information about Legacy eSports

Legacy, which competes in the Oceanic Pro League (OPL), is a successful organisation with an elite team comprising professional players from Australia and New Zealand who play the incredibly popular game, League of Legends. It also boasts a number of semi-professional and amateur line-ups which are skilled in other well-known games. League of Legends, developed and published by Riot Games, has an estimated player-base of more than 100 million users. Legacy’s leading players are currently in South Korea on a training camp.

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