ESI Super Forum – Sports clubs in esports: The story so far

08 March 2018


The Esports Insider Super Forum is now just around the corner. Taking place at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge home in London on March 22nd, one of the key topics to be discussed is sports clubs in esports.

Many teams are taking the leap into competitive gaming, but are they all doing it well? One of the six panels at the one-day conference will discuss just that.

With the esports industry very much on the rise, a lot of eyes are on it when it comes to traditional sports and the companies that occupy that particular space. The past few weeks have seen Spanish giants FC Barcelona enter the esports scene and La Liga announce plans, so it’s almost inevitable that other major clubs and leagues will soon follow suit. 

Over 180 clubs have already ventured into esports – with Texas Rangers’ Neil Leibman acquiring OpTic Gaming, New England Patriot’s Robert Kraft owning the Overwatch League’s Boston Uprising, New York Mets’ Jeff Wilpon owning OWL team New York Excelsior, as just a few examples.

If this is an area of interest then it’s worth checking out this document, put together by Mr Paul ‘Redeye’ Chaloner. 

Speaking at the Sports clubs in esports: The story so far panel on the day are the following:

  • Colin Johnson – Head of FIFA, RL and SFV – Fnatic and AS Roma
  • Christian Sørensen – CEO – North
  • Trev Keane – Co-Founder – Sportego
  • Pedro Honório da Silva – CEO – Qwatti eSports Agency

The panel will be moderated by Dominic Sacco, Head of Content at British Esports Association.

The above names will discuss some ideas as to how sports clubs should look at entering esports – there are so many different titles and not all of them will be suitable for every organisation. It’s important that a club enters a game that they can strive in, which can be based on numerous factors, so it’s a worthwhile and fruitful investment for them – the overall scene is poised to be worth over $1 billion by 2020 if you listen to Newzoo, after all, but it’s a case of making sure the path you take is right for your club or league. 

This panel will be the perfect introduction to esports for those in attendance who work for, or within, a sports organisation. It will offer insight into the correct way of approaching the scene, which in turn could help initiate the right kind of conversations within your organisation.

The obvious choice in terms of a title for a sports club looking to enter esports is with games such as FIFA or NBA, whichever game the club competes in traditionally. Teams such as Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax currently compete in FIFA – which is, of course, a natural extension of their current competition – but there are more options available. There are popular FPS titles, MOBA titles, mobile games, and other genres of esports to take into consideration, which are likelier too to get you a better ROI dependent of course on your aims within esports. 

The panel will take a look at clubs that have branched out from traditional sports into esports, identifying which have done it well, and how they’ve achieved this. It’s obvious why they’re making the transition: the younger generations are becoming increasingly hard to reach by traditional methods, and their habits are changing. With the average age of NBA, NHL and particularly NFL fans on the rise, these sports leagues and clubs want to (re)capture the attention of younger fans. Esports is certainly one answer to this conundrum. 

Find out more and secure tickets here.

Reach out to [email protected] with any questions. 

Sponsors and Partners of the ESI Super Forum include Abios, RewardMob, Squire Patton Boggs, Qwatti eSports Agency, AliQuantum Gaming, Sportradar and SpecialEffect