The discussion of whether or not eSports is a sport, no matter how controversial it may be. What is certain is that there is hardly a year that goes by when esports and sports are not closely related. Esports are becoming more and more a part of traditional sporting events such as racing events or the Olympic Games.
Football clubs are also interested in esports. Some clubs have even started their own esports clubs or created their own departments to promote esports. Some soccer stars even own e-sports clubs these days. Ten of these active or previously active stars are listed below.
Gerard Pique and KOI
Recently retired FC Barcelona player Gerard Pique made his esports debut in 2021. He co-founded KOI with Spanish broadcasting company ‘Ibai’. The eSports Club got its start in the League of Legends regional competitions. Meanwhile, Team KOI managed to secure a spot in LEC 2023.
In addition to League of Legends, Gerard Pique is currently looking for the highest level in Valorant, Rainbow Six Siege, and Rocket League with KOI.
Sergio Aguero and KRÜ Esports
Former Manchester City player Sergio Aguero founded esports organization KRÜ Esports in 2020. Previously, the former soccer artist could only look back on his rise in popularity on Twitch.
Famous for Argentine esports organization Valorant, KRÜ has secured a spot among just ten partner teams in the VCT Americas International League. There is also a South American Rocket League team. In earlier times, KRÜ Esports also participated in FIFA.
Virgil van Dyck and Tundra
Football stars don’t always have to be the founders of esports clubs. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been announced as a partner of British organisation, Tundra, in August 2022. Dijk helps develop business objectives.
Tundra was founded in 2019. The organization then made a name for itself in the FIFA scene before going in the Rocket League direction. At the same time, Dota 2 and Fortnite are expanding. It is worth noting the victory in the International 2022 tournament in Dota 2.
Casemiro and Case Esports
Apparently, being a partner wasn’t enough for Real Madrid’s Casemiro. So he soon founded his own esports club called Case Esports. The club mainly fights in regional competitions such as ESL Masters España in CS:GO or VCT Challengers Spain in Valorant. The club also has a FIFA team.
While high-profile titles are still a long way off, Case Esports has well-known sponsors like Fierce PC, Hummel, and Pringles this year.
David De Gea and Rebels Gaming
The end of 2021 saw the Manchester United goalkeeper launch esports organization Rebels Gaming. Then last year, two more people associated with Manchester United were announced as partners: Juan Mata and Borno Fernandes.
Since the inception of Rebels Gaming, there has been competition in League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, and Valorant at regional levels.
Ruud Gullit and Team Gullit
Some football stars remain loyal to football in electronic format as well. Like B. Ballon d’Or winner, Ruud Gullit, who founded the FIFA eSports Academy “Team Gullit” in 2018.
Gullit’s team specializes in scouting and nurturing FIFA talent. In this regard, the Academy has managed to form partnerships with other esports clubs such as Ajax Esports, Atlanta United, Ninjas in Pajamas and Vitesse Arnhem.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois became one of the main investors in Spanish esports club TUX Gaming in 2020. The club mainly competes in FIFA and NBA 2K. TUX represents Mexico, and is currently in the NBA 2K League.
Outside of electronic sports, the club is also committed to women’s football and runs its own team called “Deux Logroño”, which plays in Spain’s second women’s league. Moreover, a semi-professional men’s team plays under the DUX banner, called “Dux Internacional de Madrid”.
Jesse Lingard and JLINGZ Esports
In 2021, British esports organization Audacity Esports is acquired by former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard. This was followed by a rebranding to JLINGZ Esports.
After making a regional debut in Great Britain and Ireland with Rainbow Six Siege, JLINGZ Esports has delved into competitive ecosystems around Apex Legends and Halo. Since then, she has made notable appearances in the 2022 Halo World Series and Apex Legends Global Series 2023: Split 1 Play-offs.
Cesar Azpilicueta and the Falcons
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta is the founder of the Spanish esports club Falcons. The club has teams for FIFA, League of Legends and Valorant. The Falcons are currently fighting in the Spanish League of Legends, the second division. Other notable clubs in this division are the aforementioned Case Esports, Villarreal QLASH and Levante UD Esports.
David Beckham and Guild Sports
At the end of the 10 soccer stars who own esports clubs, there is a name that every soccer fan knows: David Beckham. Yes, you read that right! The great British footballer is one of the founders of the British esports organization Guild Esports. The enterprise was established in 2020.
Following in Peckham’s footsteps, the Guild quickly became one of the best known organizations in England. These secured partnerships with eg HyperX, Sky, Subway. On the competitive side, there are teams for CS:GO, FIFA, Rocket League, and Valorant. The organization also has its own esports academy.
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