Australian football club Essendon Football Club has opted to divest its efforts in esports and cease operations of its team, Bombers.
The club explained that it decided to exit esports as it reprioritises its “focus on alternate key strategic objectives that continue to be in line with the club’s 2021 vision.”
Xavier Campbell, CEO of Essendon Football Club discussed the decision in a release: “Acquiring an esports team has allowed the club to invest in an emerging category from a non-traditional market with growth potential. We have been successful in diversifying revenue with a number of non-endemic brand partnerships and have engaged and reached a younger audience through a new innovation opportunity.
“As a club we will continue to challenge the status quo and evaluate emerging trends and innovations that we believe can deliver potential growth in non-traditional areas with the underlying objective to best support our core business – football.”
Replacing Bombers in the 2020 season of Riot Games‘ Oceanic Pro League is Pentanet.GG, a division of Western Australian internet service provider Pentanet. Having acquiring the license just weeks after unveiling plans to turn its local area into an esports hub, Pentanet has clearly identified the industry as a potential point of growth.
Stephen Cornish, Founder and Managing Director of Pentanet spoke on the company’s entrance into the OPL: “After watching the OPL grow over the last few years and seeing the high level of support, enthusiasm and kinship from the league community, we’re really looking forward to being able to give future Pentanet.GG players a pathway to playing League of Legends professionally.”
Esports Insider says: Seeing Essendon Football Club pull back from esports reminds us of the perspective that esports isn’t for every company and those entering the scene should do so with deliberation and caution. We’re seeing companies from all industries dabble in the industry and it’s easy for some to forget that it’s a niche sector with its own upsides and pitfalls.