Villarreal CF entered esports in October 2016 by the means of FIFA, but now the sports club is planning on digging its heels a little further into the industry.
On July 26th, the Spanish club announced its intentions to “expand and reinforce its image” within esports by working with Esportia, a company that specialises in marketing and management within the esports industry.
While details for this planned expansion are slim, Villarreal CF did reveal that it’s looking to expand into popular esports titles such as the likes of League of Legends, Clash Royale (which has its own league on the way), and Rocket League. The club also plans to remain competing in the FIFA space.
Villarreal CF’s entry into the industry came when it formed the Virtual Football Organisation (VFO) with several other La Liga teams, including Sevilla Fútbol Club, Real Aviles C.F., Real Sociedad, Real Zaragoza, and Real Sporting de Gijón. This competition was rather different as it was played with 22 players competing across two teams – each controlling a single player in the game – instead of being a one-versus-one with each competitor controlling an entire team.
Villarreal CF wouldn’t be the first sports club to enter a top tier title such as League of Legends – clubs such as FC Schalke 04, Paris Saint-Germain, Beşiktaş J.K., Santos FC, and Saski Baskonia all either compete, or have competed, in that particular title.
Esports Insider says: Villarreal further committing to the industry proves that it thinks there’s potential in esports, so this is a positive sign. Perhaps the biggest question at this time is if the club’s looking to become a part of the soon-to-be-franchised EU LCS or not.