It has been revealed that esports giants SK Gaming, based in Cologne, have partnered with local German football club 1. FC Köln, allowing the esports organisation access to the infrastructure that the Bundesliga team provides for its athletes.
The statement cites that both teams will benefit from the partnership, explaining that SK Gaming will now be able to provide more professional conditioning for its players; especially in terms of fitness, nutrition, and practice.
1. FC Köln will be using SK Gaming’s experience and resources to make its first stride into esports, namely with Mirza Jahic and Timo ‘Praii’ Gruneisen looking to compete on behalf of the club in the Virtual Bundesliga.
Discussing this new-found partnership, 1. FC Köln’s MD, Alexander Wehrle, said “we don’t just want to jump on a bandwagon and copy existing ventures of other football clubs. We [would] much rather develop the right strategy for the market and are very happy to have found the right partner in SK Gaming who is a true global player in esports and at the same time a traditional Cologne based club.”
Not only will SK Gaming’s competitors benefit from the partnership – the fans will too. The organisations will come together to produce content that involves both teams, including challenges, guides, and glimpses of what happens behind-the-scenes.
Alexander Müller, Managing Director at SK Gaming, explained that “many of us here at SK Gaming are long standing fans of the FC and for me this partnership is just a win-win for everyone involved. We are able to learn from the decades of experience the club gained in traditional sports and in return we are excited to help the FC with our knowledge of 20 years in esports. I am sure this will be a fruitful coalition right from the start that will have each others fans curios for what’s next.”
Esports Insider says: This is another move that could help esports as a whole to be taken as seriously as traditional sports. For SK Gaming specifically, it seems like a great strategic development to provide a professional and nurturing environment for their players with top notch development opportunities courtesy of the Bundesliga club.